“They’ve chosen to focus on first doses,” Makary explained to host David Asman. “They’ve got close to 60% of their entire adult population now vaccinated with one dose and they’re reserving that second dose until they’re less supply-constrained … And while we had 1,100 deaths in the United States yesterday, they had 43.”
According to the doctor, 21% of the population of the United States is fully vaccinated compared to just 8% of the United Kingdom’s population, yet America is doing four times worse at keeping the pandemic under control. Only 38% of the U.S. has been vaccinated with one dose so far.
“If you’ve got two life preservers… you want to give it to two different people swimming in the ocean,” Makary said as an analogy. “Don’t give them both to the same person until the rescue team arrives.”
He added that it’s not too late to adopt the British method, since there is no difference in vaccine effectiveness between dose one and dose two.
According to Makary, Dr. Michael Osterholm – a member of President Biden’s coronavirus task force – is among those advocating for this system of distribution, but White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci has continually shut it down.
“Multiple studies have shown now that after the first dose, at four weeks, the efficacy is somewhere between 80 and 92%,” he said.
For people who have already contracted the virus, Makary added, there’s “increasing evidence” that a single dose may serve the same function as two in uninfected people.