So for months after the mRNA vaccines became available, all the prominent voices (like Dr. Anthony Fauci) made sure to strongly admonish us – and public health officials – that the only way – the only proper way – to immunize the public was to stick to the schedule that the vaccine manufacturers advised: that is, 2nd dose to follow the first dose within 3-4 weeks.
Which, if those manufacturers had been totally honest, was no more than a best guess as to the best way to achieve immunity.
But thankfully, public health officials in many jurisdictions – led by those in the UK but also by Canadians – argued that the best way to achieve mass immunity (not herd immunity but enough immunity to really narrow new infections and protect most members of the public) was to wait longer between doses, in the UK for 12 weeks, in some Canadian provinces such as BC for 16 weeks.
And now, studies are revealing how right those hesitant public health officials were because levels of immune fighters seem to go up significantly if the 2nd dose is delayed, especially perhaps, in the elderly who tend to have much lower – and probably slower – immune response to a 1st dose.
Lots to criticize about how the vaccine rollout has been handled but also clearly, lots to praise, especially this strategy.