To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of bringing forward pregnant women's second doses of the covid-19 vaccine before their third trimester.
13 September 2021
Currently, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommends an interval of eight weeks between doses of all the available COVID-19 vaccines; this includes pregnant women. On 14 May 2021, in response to the increasing rates of infection of the Delta variant, the Government amended the interval of second doses for the most vulnerable cohorts who were offered a vaccine in phase one of the programme, from 12 weeks to an eight-week gap. The eight-week dose interval was applied to all eligible cohorts from 6 July.
It should be noted that current evidence shows that a longer dose interval produces a better immune response. As such, the JCVI has advised against reducing the dose interval further in order to maximise the effectiveness of the vaccination programme. The JCVI regularly reviews its advice in relation to COVID-19 vaccinations, taking into account new data and evidence on the effectiveness of the programme and the ongoing epidemiological situation.