Friday , January 15 2021

2nd dose of the vaccine: are we playing with fire?

You did not know it, but the vaccines developed against COVID are of variable geometry.

Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna have spent billions to develop them.

Our regulatory agencies have invested thousands of working hours to validate the protocols and ensure their safety.

The recipe is clear: two doses, three and four weeks apart for Pfizer and Moderna, respectively.

But now, all that is not very serious.

In an emergency, it seems that everyone can do what they want.

Thus, in the hope of maximizing the number of people vaccinated in the short term, Quebec will wait up to three months before offering the famous second dose to patients.

This choice is defended. In an emergency, all means seem good to save lives.

Moreover, Quebec is not the only jurisdiction to play with the calendar in this way.

Nonetheless, faced with the six-week delay authorized by the WHO, the three months envisaged here have reason to raise doubts.

Play with fire ?

Quebec insists on having the green light from the pharmaceutical Pfizer, and the blessing of many infectious diseases specialists elsewhere, to thus stretch the vaccination schedule.

Conversely, the FDA in the United States and a host of other experts are serving serious warnings. Clinical studies have not been able to assess the real impact of these changes.

Will a single dose reduce long term immunity? Can this facilitate further mutations of the virus?

Health Canada’s expert panel is due to vote later this week.

Notwithstanding the nationalist aims of François Legault, Quebec would do well to rally to the scientific consensus in the country.

Otherwise he will have to assume the political and health risk of going it alone in the face of this immense threat which still weighs on society.

The success of the entire vaccination campaign hangs in the balance.

www.journaldemontreal.com

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