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Coronavirus: Vaccination

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 136641, tabled on 12 January 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the lengthened time between vaccine doses on clinically extremely vulnerable people who are immuno-compromised; and whether his Department plans to administer second doses sooner to those people.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

29 January 2021

The Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) advises the Government on which vaccines the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation. After studying all the available data, the JCVI concluded that the first dose of both vaccines currently deployed provides substantial protection within two to three weeks of vaccination from severe COVID-19 infection.

The second vaccine dose is important to sustain the protection and extend its duration. In the short term however, the additional impact of the second dose is likely to be modest and most of the initial protection from clinical disease is after the first dose of vaccine. The four UK Chief Medical Officers agreed with the JCVI that at this stage of the pandemic prioritising the first doses of vaccine for as many people as possible on the priority list would protect the greatest number of at-risk people in the shortest possible time.

Operationally this means that second doses of both vaccines will be administered towards the end of the recommended vaccine dosing schedule of 12 weeks. This will maximise the number of people getting the vaccine and receiving protection within the next 12 weeks.

The JCVI’s statement on changing of the dose interval is available at the following link:

Named day
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