CDC: some should wait longer for second COVID-19 vaccination

pharmafile | February 24, 2022 | News story | Business Services  

The CDC updated its vaccine guidance for COVID-19, recommending that some American over the age of 12 who have received a first mRNA vaccine dose wait as many as eight weeks before receiving their second dose, rather than the previously recommended three to four.

This guidance applies especially boys and men between 12 to 39 years. The change does not affect those who have already been vaccinated, but instead applies to the roughly 33 million unvaccinated people in the US.

This is because some people, mostly adolescent and young adult males, developed a side effect involving inflammation in or around the heart – myocarditis – following their second vaccination: “Extending the interval between the first and second mRNA vaccine dose to 8 weeks might reduce the risk” the agency wrote.

The CDC has shared that among men ages 18 to 39, the condition has been reported in about 68 per 1 million getting the second Moderna dose and about 47 per 1 million getting the second Pfizer dose.

When the vaccines first rolled out, emphasis was placed upon vaccinating the population as quickly as possible, but now after a year of the US vaccination campaign, new data is available to guide vaccinations schedules. Based on results from studies conducted by vaccine makers, Pfizer shots as a two-dose series spaced three weeks apart, and Moderna shots spaced four weeks apart, were authorised.

“mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at the FDA-approved or FDA-authorized intervals, but a longer interval may be considered for some populations,” the agency shared in its updated recommendations.

The overall instance of post-vaccine myocarditis is low, and most cases are mild.

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