The British Association of Physicians said on the 23rd that they have written to England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty, calling on the British government to change the vaccination program and shorten the maximum interval between two doses of Pfizer vaccine from the current 12 weeks to 6 weeks.
The British Medical Association said in a statement on the same day (23) that they had written to Whitty about the need to “urgently review” the UK vaccination programme. The statement reads that the interval between two doses of vaccines of more than six weeks “does not comply with the World Health Organization’s guidance programme” and that “no other country has such an interval of 12 weeks” as the UK.
In addition, physician association members are concerned that the unpredictability of vaccine supply capacity does not guarantee that people will receive a second dose of Pfizer’s vaccine after 12 weeks.
The U.K. government is using two Coronavirus vaccines, one jointly developed by Pfizer Inc. and Germany’s BioNew Technologies, and the other by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals Inc. and the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.
The situation of preventing and controlling the Coronavirus Pandemic outbreak in the UK is critical. Against the backdrop of squeezed health care resources, the UK government wants to get the first dose of vaccine to more people first, and therefore proposed shortly after the vaccination program started that the maximum interval between doses of both vaccines currently used is 12 weeks.
The Department of Health and Social Care said the government established the 12-week time frame after a thorough analysis of initial vaccination data and advice from the chief medical officers of the four U.K. regions. Whitty explained at a news conference on 22 February that “most of the protection from the vaccine comes from the first dose”.
Pfizer and BioNew Technologies recommended a 21-day interval between vaccinations. They previously warned that there is “no evidence that the vaccine is still protective when a second dose is administered three weeks later.
AstraZeneca, for its part, has no objection to the British government’s arrangement. The British pharmaceutical company said data showed the company’s vaccine was not effective 8 to 12 weeks between doses.