WHO: Moderna vaccine second doses can be delayed, but doses shouldn't be halved

The World Health Organization's vaccine advisory group said it's acceptable to delay the second dose of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine as long as six weeks due to the global shortage of COVID-19 vaccines in interim guidance released Jan. 25 about the Moderna vaccine's use.

The guidance adheres closely to WHO's guidance on Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, which uses similar mRNA technology as the Moderna shot. The organization recommended against halving doses for either of the vaccines, saying that there is insufficient evidence that the vaccines would be effective when administered in half-doses.

"WHO's recommendation at present is that, if judged necessary, the interval between doses may be extended to 42 days," the interim guidance reads. "The evidence base for this extension is not strong, but this was the longest interval for any participants in the primary efficacy analyses of the phase 3 trial, though the great majority received the second dose after a shorter interval."

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