Dr. Fauci Just Gave This Vital Advice About Your COVID Vaccine

America's top medical official is clarifying the guidelines on dosages.

On Tuesday, Jan. 19, Anthony Fauci, MD, got the second dose of his COVID vaccine. "So far, so good," he told CNN of his second shot of the Moderna vaccine. Now he's hoping Americans follow suit. In a recent interview, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) reminded Americans about the safest way to get vaccinated, CNN reports. Here's what he wants you to know, and for more vaccine advice, know that If You Take These OTC Meds, You Have to Stop Before Getting the Vaccine.

Fauci says it's key to get both doses of your COVID vaccine the proper number of days apart.

General practitioner vaccinating old patient at home

In speaking at the Choose Healthy Life Black Clergy Conclave, Fauci said everyone needs to receive two full doses of their allotted COVID vaccine, administered an appropriate number of days apart. He reiterated that a "proper, scientifically validated approach" to inoculations is to receive a first full dose of the vaccine, followed a set time later by a full follow-up dose. For the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, this is 21 days, while for the Moderna vaccine, it's 28 days. And for more on one of the soon-to-be-approved vaccines, check out The Side Effects of the New Johnson & Johnson Vaccine.

Fauci warns that two half-doses may not be "equally comparable in protecting you."

vial of coronavirus vaccine
skodonnell / iStock

Fauci confirmed that vaccine trials had been carried out on people aged 18 to 55 to assess how effective different dosing regimes were. In these trials, the results showed that administering two half-doses produced a level of antibodies comparable to that which you would expect from two full doses. "However, that is not clinical proof that they are equally comparable in protecting you," Fauci explained. "So, even though this was something that was done in a combination of curiosity and to see if we may have to go there, we are not recommending a half-dose followed by a half-dose." And for more on what the FDA advises with your shots, check out The FDA Just Ruled You Can't Do These 4 Things With the COVID Vaccines.

It's also not advised to mix brands of vaccines.

vials of coronavirus vaccine

Some confusion arose after The New York Times ran a piece earlier this month claiming that U.K. authorities were considering allowing the second dose of the vaccine to be a different variety than the first ("Britain Opens Door to Mix-and-Match Vaccinations, Worrying Experts"). This prompted a swift response from the editor of the British Medical Journal, Fiona Godlee, who wrote to The Times asking for a swift clarification.

She pointed out that the U.K.'s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) makes no such recommendation, but had simply noted that on "extremely rare occasions" where the same vaccine is unavailable or it's impossible to know which one was given in the first dose, receiving a second dose of another vaccine is better than receiving nothing. "We do not recommend mixing the COVID-19 vaccines–if your first dose is the Pfizer vaccine, you should not be given the AstraZeneca vaccine for your second dose and vice versa," Godlee said. And for more regular COVID news, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Fauci says there's only one proper way to get vaccinated.

young doctor giving patient covid vaccine
Shutterstock/BaLL LunLa

In his talk with the Choose Healthy Life Black Clergy Conclave, Fauci was unequivocal: "Bottom line, stick with full dose, followed by full dose." And for more advice from the NIAID director, check out Dr. Fauci Says You Need One of These at Home to Avoid COVID.

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John Quinn
John Quinn is a London-based writer and editor who specializes in lifestyle topics. Read more
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