WHO panel approves delaying time between coronavirus vaccine doses

The World Health Organization's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization on Friday approved delaying the times between doses of Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine.

The World Health Organization's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization on Friday approved delaying the times between doses of Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine. The panel's guidance said the interval between doses "may be extended up to 42 days (6 weeks), on the basis of currently available clinical trial data." Additionally, the group said it will consider revising the recommendation as more data about longer intervals between doses becomes available. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is given in two doses 21 days apart, while Moderna's vaccine is administered in two doses 28 days apart. FDA recently advised against altering COVID-19 vaccine doses or intervals. "At this time, suggesting changes to the FDA-authorized dosing or schedules of these vaccines is premature and not rooted solidly in the available evidence," said FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn and Peter Marks, director of the agency's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. "Without appropriate data supporting such changes in vaccine administration, we run a significant risk of placing public health at risk, undermining the historic vaccination efforts to protect the population from COVID-19."