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Vaccines: One shot now, one shot much later

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By Gwynne Dyer

Triage is always crude and messy, and there are always mistakes, but the goal is to save as many lives as possible in an emergency when there are not enough medical resources to save everybody. That certainly applies to the COVID-19 pandemic, and there is certainly rough-and-ready triage going on right now in hospitals across the world.

But there is also something approximating to triage happening with regard to vaccines in the United Kingdom now. The estimable Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for almost half his life, was denouncing it on the media only the other day. But just this once, he may be wrong.

Britain was one of the first countries to start vaccinating people last month when the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine became available Dec. 8, and it now has been the first to administer the AstraZeneca vaccine, but both require a second shot three weeks after the first.

At the same time, however, the U.K. has been ground zero for the new strain of the COVID-19 virus, romantically named VUI/202012/01 (or B.1.1.7 for short). More than half the world's reported infections are there, and the reason it's spreading so fast is that it's far more infectious than the older variant.

Daily infections in........

© The Korea Times

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