One dose of United Kingdom vaccine effective for three months

Nurse gives vaccine to a woman in Glasgow

Britain's health secretary says a new study showing that a single dose of the AstraZeneca-Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine provides a high level of protection for 12 weeks supports the government's strategy of delaying the second shot so that initial doses can be delivered to more people.

One of the lead researchers on the Oxford vaccine project, Dr. Andrew Pollard, said Oxford scientists believe the vaccine will continue to offer protection against new variants of COVID-19, although they are still waiting for data on that.

If there is no virus then they can not spread it.

"It also supports the policy recommendation made by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) for a 12-week prime-boost interval, as they look for the optimal approach to roll out, and reassures us that people are protected from 22 days after a single dose of the vaccine".

Germany has already said it will not advise over 65s to get it, Italy's medicines agency on Saturday approved the vaccine for all adults but recommended alternatives for people aged over 55, and French President Emmanuel Macron last week said the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was "quasi-ineffective" for those over 65.

"The data indicate that [the vaccine] may have a substantial impact on transmission by reducing the number of infected individuals in the population", the report said.

It recommends up to three-month intervals between the two doses.

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In authorizing the vaccine, United Kingdom regulator accepted the pooled results, but didn't approve administering the half-dose/full-dose regimen.

Results after the second dose show that the efficacy was 82.4 percent, when the interval between the two doses was 12 weeks or more.

The British government said this Wednesday that the study, which is still awaiting peer review, has vindicated its inoculation strategy.

Other countries have followed suit, some recommending dosing intervals no more than six weeks apart; the USA has recommended sticking with the three or four weeks between doses in line with most clinical-trial results.

There is no suggestion there was any risk to the health of trial participants.

Oxford University said there were no adverse effects, although it was reported that a volunteer died in October 2020. The jab has come under scrutiny because of the dosing error in the Oxford trial and a paucity of data about its efficacy in older people who are most vulnerable to the virus. They noted this included the subset of British participants who received a half-dose vaccine as their first dose when interim analysis data was reported in December.

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