Britain’s main doctors’ organisation is concerned about the UK’s decision to give people a second dose of coronavirus vaccine up to 12 weeks after the first, rather than the shorter gap recommended by manufacturers and the World Health Organisation.
The UK, which has Europe’s deadliest coronavirus outbreak, adopted the policy in order to give as many people a first dose of the vaccine as quickly as possible.
Almost 5.5 million people have received a first dose of either a vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech or one developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.
AstraZeneca has said it believes a dose of its vaccine offers protection after 12 weeks but Pfizer says it has not tested the efficacy of its jab after such a long gap.
The British Medical Association urged England’s chief medical officer to “urgently review” the policy for the Pfizer vaccine.
It says there was “growing concern from the medical profession regarding the delay of the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as the US’s strategy has become increasingly isolated from many other countries”.
Pfizer says its second dose should take place 21 days after the first. The World Health Organisation says the second shots of coronavirus vaccines can been given up to six weeks after the first.