Cutting COVID-19 vaccine doses in half could help with demand


DEL NORTE COUNTY, Calif. (KIEM)- Some health officials have suggested cutting COVID-19 vaccines in half to accommodate the demand.

Redwood news spoke to Del Norte Public Health Officer Doctor Warren Rehwaldt about cutting those doses in half, he says, that may not be a bad idea.

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The question that’s come up, when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines, should health professionals administer only half a dose or even consider using a single dose?

“I mean there are grounds to consider it,” he said. “It depends on what you anticipate for the supply and how urgent the need is.”

Rehwaldt says data suggests -based on behavior of other vaccines – there is some expectation that a single dose would be effective many.

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“It might be effective enough to accomplish the goal of really protecting people from getting the infection,” he said.

Which would result in a reduction in cases – which then should result in a reduction in transmissions.

Rehwaldt says, there is a downside.

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“We don’t really know that for sure, that’s number one and number two, we don’t know how much the vaccine reduces transmission,” he said.

What they do know is – the vaccine helps prevent people who contract COVID-19 from getting severely ill. 

According to Rehwaldt- people who receive a modified dose of the vaccine may still be able to transmit the virus, however, they will most likely fight it off much faster.

“There are no hard fast rules about when the second dose needs to be given beyond the set date,” he said.  

Rehwaldt says there is some flexibility.

“Whether that really goes out the six months after the first dose, nobody really knows.”

Rehwaldt says, last week, a clinic was postponed due to a hold on the Moderna vaccine, but that was it no other issues.  

He says public health is strategically planning second doses – to ensure they don’t run out.

Open Door Health Centers now offer patients against COVID-19 in line with Humboldt and Del Norte County’s Public Health Plan.

To ensure those interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine should sign up on their secure online patient portal, someone will get back with you.

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