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30 December 2020

UK CMOs make a statement on the prioritisation of first doses of the COVID-19 vaccines


The four UK Chief Medical Officers make a statement advising the prioritisation of first doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech and AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccines. Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) authorisation requires that the second dose should be given at least 3 weeks after the first dose in the case of the Pfizer vaccine and between 4 and 12 weeks for the Oxford vaccine.

Following MHRA approval, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommend that ‘as many people on the JCVI priority list as possible should sequentially be offered a first vaccine dose as the initial priority’. Given that both vaccinations offer ‘considerable protection after a single dose’ in the short term, the UK CMOs agree with the JCVI. To protect the greatest number of people at one time, and to reduce mortality and hospitalisations, the CMOs advise that priority should be to administer the first doses of vaccine to as many people as possible on the JCVI priority list. Second doses should be administered towards the end of the recommended dosing schedule of 12 weeks.


Gov.uk press release