Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the call by the Doctors' Association, reported in The Times on 21 January, to guarantee that all patients will be given their second COVID-19 vaccinations within 12 weeks of the first “at the absolute latest”.
Having studied evidence on both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has advised that we should prioritise giving as many people in at-risk groups their first dose, rather than providing two doses in as short a time as possible. The four United Kingdom Chief Medical Officers agree this will have the greatest impact on reducing mortality, severe disease and hospitalisations and in protecting the National Health Service and equivalent health services. The evidence shows that one dose of either vaccine provides a high level of protection from COVID-19.
For both vaccines, data provided to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency demonstrates that whilst efficacy is optimised when a second dose is administered, both offer considerable protection after a single dose, at least in the short term. Everyone will receive their second dose within 12 weeks of their first. The second dose completes the course and is important for longer term protection.