The head of Operation Warp Speed has suggested giving people half doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in order to get more people some level of protection faster.
Stilwell-based infectious disease specialist Dr. Gitanjali Pai said during a vaccine update on Monday the state will not act on its own to do that.
"I do understand that across the board globally, supply is a constraint and that’s the reason why these thoughts are being considered to see if there can be more and more people roped in, but as of now, we do not have definitive guidance either way as to whether we can go ahead and give half the dose," Pai said.
The Food and Drug Administration is set to discuss the half-dose proposal this week, which could lead to federal guidance being handed down.
"I will say that in one of the clinical trials, participants age 18 to 55 who had received two 50 microgram doses had a similar immune response as those who received two 100 microgram doses," Pai said.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported on Saturday 50,330 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered out of 174,900 received. Doses given have mostly gone to frontline health care workers and nursing home residents and staff, though state officials say there are enough doses for first responders and adults over 65 to start receiving vaccinations in some parts of the state.
At current vaccination rates, it could take years before enough Americans are vaccinated to acquire herd immunity.