By Rebecca Spalding and Carl O'Donnell
(Reuters) - The best defense against emerging variant strains of COVID-19 is getting as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible, top U.S. infectious disease doctor Anthony Fauci said on Monday.
He told a media briefing that while it was reasonable to think about studying the efficacy of Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines as a one-dose regimen in light of supply constraints, such a study would take months to complete and thus likely make its conclusions moot.
Fauci continued to encourage people get two doses of the vaccine.
The optimal "approach would be to continue with getting as many people on their first dose as possible but also making sure that people on time get their second dose," Fauci said.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said on the call that she advises people to continue wearing masks and that states not relax mask-wearing rules. The Biden Administration asked Americans to wear masks for its first hundred days, a period she noted is ongoing.
(Reporting by Carl O'Donnell, Editing by Franklin Paul and Dan Grebler)