The imperative of maximizing the rate of vaccinations has not dissipated in the final hours of 2020. If anything, the question has gotten more acute, even if HHS has managed to accelerate the number of daily vaccinations to 500,000, as Dr. Moncef Slaoui told CBS’ Margaret Brennan on yesterday’s Face the Nation. Even at a half-million a day, it would take almost two years to vaccinate the full American population.
Of course, that could change if supplies increase, Slaoui tells Brennan. After pushing off the idea to use all available vaccines for first doses rather than hold half back for the required second doses for full coverage, Slaoui suggests splitting the baby in an entirely different manner, at least with the Moderna vaccine. HHS and the FDA are considering emergency authorization for half-doses on the first round, which Slaoui insists will provide a similar immune response and could double the number of doses available: