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30 December 2020

JCVI updates guidance on vaccine dosing intervals to prioritise giving people first doses

Summary

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommends that both the Pfizer/BioNTech and AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccines offer some protection 2 weeks after the first vaccine dose, though a second dose provides longer-lasting protection. To provide ‘the greatest public health benefits in the short term’, JCVI recommends that priority be given to vaccinating as many people as possible with the first dose, over offering others their second dose.

Updated guidance is that the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine be offered between 3 to 12 weeks after the first dose, and the AstraZeneca between 4 to 12 weeks after.

Vaccinating all those in the initial JCVI priority phase (people older than 50 years, residents in care homes, health and social care workers, those with underlying health conditions) is estimated to prevent 99% of COVID-19 deaths.

Source(s)

Gov.uk press release – JCVI issues advice on AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Gov.uk independent report – priority groups for vaccination