News

Difficulties with 2nd Vaccine Doses, Though 1st Doses Still Progressing

By Margaret Allen
While the total of positive COVID 19 cases throughout the pandemic nears one million statewide, the additional cases each day continue to decrease. The vaccine rollout is moving forward but supply from the federal government has been limited and hindered by weather related effects on shipments. That, along with improperly labeled boxes from the state, resulted in cancellation of some 2nd dose clinics. But Dr. James Cruse, Medical Director at Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers, says there is an upside.

Dr. Cruse: "As an optimist I tend to see the silver lining in this. It has allowed more people to get their first dose. There have been a lot of competent epidemiologists who have argued that we should be delaying second doses anyway so we can get more people vaccinated with the first dose. That would give us more immunity across the population faster. I've always thought that strategy made sense. However, as you may have realized, the FDA does approach these matters of science very rigidly. They say you cannot do what makes sense but must do what has been proven in vaccine studies."

Vaccine studies have also shown one dose can be up to 85% effective. Distribution is continuing for both 1st and 2nd doses of the vaccine and the Department of Health is working to ensure it’s provided in an ethical, equitable, and efficient manner. Pennsylvania is still in Phase 1A of eligibility.