Does new variant change equation?
Dr. Wachter and Dr. Jha, in their editorial, cited a quote from former boxing champion Mike Tyson: “Everybody has a plan until they’ve been punched in the mouth.” ‘Punches’ such as the new variant, the high number of cases and deaths in the United States, and other problems prompted them to advocate for the delayed dosing strategy.
“Appreciate the concern for the new variant – I think it’s worth noting that we’re punching ourselves in the mouth with the slow vaccine rollout, which is the first problem to solve,” Jake Quinton, MD, an internist at UCLA Health in Los Angeles, noted on Twitter.
Vaccine and public resistance raised
“I agree with the problem but not with the proposed solution, which is guesswork not based on data,” the Jan Grimm Lab at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York responded to Dr. Wachter and Dr. Jha on Twitter. “There ARE data though that show that 1 shot alone did not elicit sufficient T-cell nor antibody response. This might also lead to mutations resistant to the vaccines. Dangerous!”
Other physicians took to Twitter to point out that changing the recommendations at this point could further erode public confidence in COVID-19 immunization. For example, Deirdre Habermehl, MD, wrote, “We’ve spent months telling the public the best route is to follow the science and now without data think a course correction based on a guesstimate is ok? Public confidence is low enough and the real issue is logistics at this point.”
Dr. Shen and Dr. Bottazzi have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
A version of this article first appeared on Medscape.com.