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Worries Over Delay In Second Dose Of #Covid19 Vaccine

As infection rates for Covid19 continue to rise alarmingly across the whole of the UK new guidance has been issued on the vaccination programme. It is an attempt to spread the limited supplies of the vaccine over a wider range of the population.

Scotland is following the same guidance.

It states on the Scottish Government website in a letter from the  Chief Medical Officer, Dr Gregor Smith:

All NHS Boards should therefore now take the following actions to ensure delivery is in line with the regulatory advice from the MHRA and the updated clinical guidance from the JCVI:

  • For recipients who have received their first vaccination and are due to receive their second dose between now and Monday 4 January 2021, no further action is required, and these appointments should continue as planned.
  • For those who have received their first vaccination and are scheduled to receive their second dose after Monday 4 January 2021, the second dose appointment should be rescheduled in the twelfth week post the first dose.
  • For those scheduled to receive their first vaccination from 31 December 2020, an appointment to receive the second dose should be scheduled in the twelfth week post the first dose.

The new guidance has caused alarm with those who have already received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the delay of 3 months before getting the second injection. Their worries are that the effectiveness of the vaccine will be seriously reduced.

The Pfizer vaccine requires 2 doses. The UK rushed ahead with using the vaccines and now the Oxford Zeneca vaccine has also been issued with a safety certificate. The UK is further suggesting that a ‘mix and match’ approach can be taken. This was reported worldwide. New York Times

The article includes this statement from Steven Danehy, a spokesman for Pfizer.

He pointed to the company’s late-stage clinical trial findings, which relied on a two-dose schedule of its vaccine that was 95 percent effective at preventing Covid-19.

“While decisions on alternative dosing regimens reside with health authorities, Pfizer believes it is critical health authorities conduct surveillance efforts on any alternative schedules implemented and to ensure each recipient is afforded the maximum possible protection, which means immunization with two doses of the vaccine.”

Today, 2nd of January, there are only limited figures available for Scotland but they are as follows.

  • 2,137 new cases of COVID-19 reported
  • 21,451 new tests for COVID-19 that reported results – 10.8% of these were positive

The statement on the Scottish Government website continued:

The priority now is to vaccinate as many people with their first dose as quickly as possible, working through that priority list, and the advice that the second dose for both vaccines can be given up to 12 weeks after the first means that this protection can be maximised quicker than originally planned.  The second dose remains critical for longer term protection and to complete the course.

In the original advice on the Pfizer vaccine the second dose was to be administered 3 weeks after the first one. This has now changed to 3 months.

Reporter: Fiona Grahame

1 reply »

  1. Its just as well we have left the EU otherwise we might still be waiting for our first dose of vaccination in July. Talk about management by committee!

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