Syringe containers for the Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer BioNtech and Moderna Inc. in Tucson, Arizona, USA, on Friday, January 15, 2021.
Cherry Orr | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have tacitly changed their guidelines for Covid-19 vaccine shots, stating that it is now okay to mix Pfizer and Moderna shots in “exceptional situations” and that it is okay too to wait up to six weeks to receive the second shot two-dose immunization from both companies.
While Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines, both of which use messenger RNA technology, were approved 21 and 28 days apart, the agency now says that under new guidelines, you can get both shots as long as they are at least apart 28 days administered will be published on its website Thursday.
Although “every effort” should be made to ensure that a patient receives the same vaccine, in rare situations “any available mRNA COVID-19 vaccine can be administered with a minimum of 28 days between doses” – if supply Is limited or the patient does not I do not know what vaccine they originally received, the CDC says in new guidelines.
The CDC says the two products are not interchangeable, admitting that they had not yet investigated whether their new recommendations would alter the safety or effectiveness of either vaccine.
The agency said health care providers should give patients a vaccination card detailing when they received their first shot and what type of shot it was to ensure patients know which shot to get the second time. The agency also recommends providers to record the patient’s vaccination information on their medical records and on the government vaccination information system.
Both companies need two doses to achieve maximum protection against the coronavirus. While both shots should be administered according to the guidelines originally recommended, the CDC said the second dose of both companies’ vaccine could be delayed for up to six weeks if necessary.
The updated guidelines come as some cities and counties across the country cancel vaccination appointments because they don’t have as many doses as they originally expected.
Wayne County, Michigan, for example, said last week it would be a priority to make sure people who got their first shot get their second shot on time. But the county said it had to cancel nearly 1,400 appointments for people to get their first shot.
“The intent is not to suggest people do something else, but rather to give clinicians flexibility in exceptional circumstances,” said Jason McDonald, a CDC spokesman, in an email to CNBC.
Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, was asked on Friday about the interval at which the two shots should be administered.
“The data we have is of a two-dose vaccine on the recommended schedule of 21 or 28 days,” she said at a virtual event hosted by Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and National Public Radio . “At this point in time, we at CDC agree with what the FDA said, and the FDA has made it very clear that we should be using the approved regimen.”
“It’s deeply rooted in science and the available evidence, and doing anything else would not follow science and possibly not allow us to really get the full potential of these vaccines,” she added. “For now, from the CDC’s point of view, we think it has to be two doses on the recommended schedule.”