Could first doses first be better for the vaccine hesitant?

post by AllAmericanBreakfast · 2021-02-22T16:24:55.847Z · LW · GW · 1 comments

This is a question post.

One argument against proposing “first doses first” in major news media is that it might make vaccine hesitant communities feel like one COVID vaccine dose is enough.

But it still seems to me like this might be a much better health outcome even for them than a two-dose regimen. It’s possible that getting the R0 down and establishing herd immunity faster would protect the vaccine hesitant more than getting them to go from one shot to two.

Of course, this doesn’t entirely overcome the objection that it would still be better to not debate the topic in major news media, to preserve willingness to get the second shot. But then again, if the “first shots first” plan is better not just in general, but for the vaccine hesitant, then that argument loses much of its force.

To be cynical, perhaps the people arguing to keep “first doses first” off the front page of the newspaper actually want a FDF regime, but also want a “second-dose positive” regime in which the vaccine hesitant are more willing to get that second dose. So they want to quietly install a de facto FDF regime with no public debate or announcement, while still pretending like all experts agree we should do second doses first?

If so, pulling the wool over the eyes of the vaccine hesitant does not seem like the way to build long-term trust. So it seems like it violates their right to informed consent on a community level? And hence for all the rhetoric about protecting these communities from themselves, it seems to me like the very open and straightforward FDF proponents are doing better by these communities both on a health and an ethics level than the “no public discussion group.”

But there are a LOT of “ifs” in this question, so what I really want to know is whether this particular line of thinking represented anywhere in the expert debate?

Answers

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comment by kithpendragon · 2021-02-23T12:24:40.552Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I haven't seen yet that anybody's actually been bothered to check if one dose is sufficient to confer immunity, and (if so) at what level. (PLEASE correct me if I've missed it!) I think that seems like a pretty critical question to answer here! My impression so far has been that we're using two doses because that's how the vaccines were tested and the two-dose plan definitely works, not because it's actually known to be useful in any way to get a second dose.

Everybody say it with me: "More! Research! Is! Needed!"