CDC Updates Guidance to Recommend Longer Intervals Between Vaccine Doses 

February 24, 2022 by Alexa Hornbeck
<strong>CDC Updates Guidance to Recommend Longer Intervals Between Vaccine Doses </strong>

On Tuesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated guidance on vaccine dosing intervals for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to be spaced out at least eight weeks apart between the first and second doses. 

The decision to update the interval guidance for vaccine dosing comes after new research was released in early February showing that longer periods of time between vaccine doses may increase how long vaccine protection lasts, especially for males aged 12-39. 

Several countries have already implemented policies or recommendations to lengthen the interval between doses from 6-12 weeks in the primary series. This spacing is specifically recommended for the use of the Pfizer vaccine to mitigate the risk of myocarditis, a form of heart inflammation, especially in men under the age of 30, and to improve vaccine effectiveness. 

Under the CDC’s previous recommendation, individuals were advised to wait three to four weeks between the first and second doses, and that recommendation remains the status quo for those with weakened immune systems and individuals 65 and older to protect from severe illness. 

The most recent data from the agency shows that 73% of people aged 12 and older have already gotten two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, meaning the change might only apply to the remaining 27% of individuals who have not yet received two doses. 

Alexa can be reached at [email protected] 

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