Top epidemiologist Doctor Michael Osterholm told a Minnesota House committee “the darkest days of the pandemic are yet to come” due to emerging COVID variants. Osterholm says because of that he’ll advise federal officials to delay the second dose of vaccine so more people can get a first shot. “It turns out with the first dose, we really do get remarkable protection, and that would mean we could get more of our over 65-year-old age group vaccinated,” he says. The strategy is to try to reduce an expected surge in cases by getting more people vaccinated.
Osterholm says COVID virus mutations appear to be more transmissible and cause more severe illness — and it’s not known whether vaccines are less effective against them.