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Walgreens not following U.S. Pfizer vaccine guidelines: report

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Walgreens reportedly administered the two doses of Pfizer four weeks apart, like the Moderna vaccine, and not three weeks as recommended.

Walgreens reportedly moved the spacing of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to two doses to the recommended 21 days after separating the 28-day doses, which is supposed to be how the Moderna vaccine is supposed to be delivered.

The New York Times reported on Monday that doses were scheduled four weeks apart because Walgreens found it made it easier and easier to book appointments. But like the Times and USA TODAY On Monday evening, the company said it would revert to the 21-day schedule between doses, with the change taking place as early as this week.

the Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention The website says the Pfizer vaccine should be given as close to the recommended 21 days as possible, but not before that. But it also indicates that the spacing may be longer.

“If it is not possible to meet the recommended interval and a delay in vaccination is inevitable, the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines can be administered for up to 6 weeks (42 days ) after the first dose ”. said the CDC.

Despite this, the CDC had asked Walgreens to meet the 21-day separation on the Pfizer vaccine, the two outlets reported.

RELATED: United States Sets New Vaccination Record As COVID Cases and Hospitalizations Rise

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The Times said Walgreens’ scheduling system set doses four weeks apart by default and the company had not made the information public and left some customers confused.

Moderna, which is the other two-dose vaccine cleared for emergency use in the United States, is recommended to separate each dose by 28 days. Walgreens chief medical officer Dr Kevin Ban reportedly said using the same spread for both vaccines was the easiest way to support the process according to our capabilities at the time. “

Walgreens spokesperson Rebekah Pajak told USA TODAY that the 28-day minimum is to ensure that no doses are given earlier than recommended.

The vaccines are not interchangeable, the CDC said, so someone who receives the first dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines should receive the second dose from the same manufacturer.

Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is a single dose.

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