- There is a real risk in the UK strategy to delay the second dose of coronavirus vaccine for up to 12 weeks.
- Early Scottish data showed protection against hospital expiration after five weeks.
- Vaccine developers and public health experts told Insider that delaying second doses is a mistake.
- Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.
There may be a significant risk in the UK strategy to delay doses of coronavirus vaccine for up to 12 weeks to give more people the first impression.
On Monday, Scottish researchers released data from their vaccine campaign, including more than 1 million people who received the vaccine, which advocates protection against single-dose peaks and then decline after about five weeks.
Scottish data have not been published in a medical journal or reviewed by independent scientists. The results were posted as an introduction Monday.
The trial used medical records covering 5.4 million people, or 99% of the Scottish population and focused on people who received one picture of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, the same two UK authorized picture. One dose helped protect against hospitalization, with efficacy reaching about five weeks after vaccination at 84% effective in hospital prevention.
But the follow-up data available beyond that period is worrying. Efficiency peaked and then began to decline, going from 84% effective in the fifth week to 61% effective the following week and then 58% beyond.
It is not known whether this trend would continue beyond that, as that is all the data that the researchers had available in the study. But the findings show that immunity begins to decline from a single dose after five weeks or so.
This could have a significant impact on the UK strategy, which will delay people ‘s second doses out to 12 weeks after the first dose. The crisis of the pandemic coupled with the scarcity of available doses has led public health leaders around the world to decide whether it would be better to have a single dose in as many people as possible. be able to give two doses in time to fewer people. .
Scotland, as part of the UK, is delaying second doses until more first doses are available. Both have been tested in clinical trials as two-dose regimens, given 21 days and 28 days apart.
Vaccination experts say delay in 2nd dose ‘a mistake’
Several vaccine experts said the data supported giving people a second dose at the times studied in large-scale clinical trials. These studies, which tested placebo injectable vaccines, provided a basis for authorizing the observations and are seen as the highest quality evidence in medical research.
“I think it’s a mistake to delay the second dose for a long time,” Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Philadelphia Children’s Hospital, told Insider.
Dr. Kavita Patel, a primary care physician who previously worked on health care policy in the Obama administration, raised concerns about the data and his recommendations about delaying second doses.
In an email to Insider, Patel called for a delay in the second “dangerous” dose, with the new Scottish data “even more worrying.” “
Patel also said she was concerned about the public debate about whether it would delay the second dose of sending a harmful, unexpected message to the public. As doctors and public health officials argue about delaying second sight, that could send the wrong message to some people that second doses are less important.
Maria Elena Bottazzi, code-director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, said this data made it clear that people needed two doses of these vaccines.
The drop seen in the study – from 84% to 61% to 58% – is not particularly appropriate and it would be better to stick to the 21 – day or 28 – day times confirmed, Bottazzi said.
“As much as possible we should stay as close to the times according to the data supported by the clinical trials,” she said in an email.