Coronavirus: Vaccination

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 30th March 2021.

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Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Labour, Exeter

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether it is the Government's policy to deliver second doses of covid-19 vaccines within the 12 week timeframe; and what assessment he has made of the potential effect on vaccine efficacy in the event that timeframe is exceeded.

Photo of Nadhim Zahawi Nadhim Zahawi Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Government’s policy, based on recommendations from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and the four United Kingdom Chief Medical Officers, is that second doses should be administered within 12 weeks of the first dose. For the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, the second dose may be given between three to 12 weeks following the first dose whilst the second dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine may be given between four to 12 weeks following the first dose.

Recent data from Public Health England shows a single dose of either the Oxford/AstraZeneca or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine reduces hospital admissions by 80% in the over 70 year olds. No assessment has been made of the potential effect on vaccine efficacy at a timeframe over 12 weeks.

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