Covid UK vaccine update: Why waiting longer for the second dose could be better

UK ‘not wise to play solo on coronavirus vaccine’ says Bonell

The AstraZeneca vaccine requires two doses for the highest efficacy against coronavirus infection. When it comes to waiting for the second dose of a vaccine, it turns out waiting could be better for your health. A new study shows the jab has 76 percent efficacy after a single dose, with efficacy improving further after a second shot was given.

When it comes to waiting for the second dose of a vaccine, it turns out waiting could be better for your health.

Data revealed the vaccine was in fact 54.9 percent effective in trial participants who received their second standard dose within six weeks of the first.

For those waiting for their second standard dose 12 weeks after their first, their efficacy was an impressive 82.4 percent.

Health experts also claim that waiting wouldn’t be a big risk as a standard dose of the vaccine is 76 percent effective between 22 days and 90 days after the first dose.

This means people would be protected while waiting for their boosters.

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In the study published in the Preprints with Lancet, a single dose administration and the influence of the timing of the booster dose was further investigated. 

The study noted: “The vaccine has been approved for emergency use by the UK regulatory authority, MHRA, with a regimen of two standard doses given with an interval of between four and 12 weeks.

“The planned rollout in the UK will involve vaccinating people in high-risk categories with their first dose immediately and delivering the second dose 12 weeks later.

“We present data from phase III efficacy trials of the vaccine in the United Kingdom and Brazil, and phase I/II clinical trials in the UK and South Africa, against symptomatic disease caused by SARS-CoV-2.

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“The primary analysis of overall vaccine efficacy 14 days after the second dose was 66.7 percent.

“Vaccine efficacy after a single standard dose of vaccine from day 22 to day 90 post vaccination was 76 percent, and modelled analysis indicated that protection did not wane during this initial three-month period.

“Similarly, antibody levels were maintained during this period with minimal waning by day 90 day.

“In the SD/SD group, after the second dose, efficacy was higher with a longer prime-boost interval: 91.7 percent at 12+ weeks.”

The researchers also ran diagnostic tests weekly on the trial participants and found the first dose cut the number of positive tests by 67 percent.

This showed its effectiveness in preventing asymptomatic infections.

The data suggested the vaccine could have a “substantial impact on transmission by reducing the number of infected individuals in the population,” noted the researchers.

How the vaccine works

Vaccines work by introducing a safe version of a pathogen to a patient’s immune system.

When vaccinated, a person’s immune system needs to sense danger before responding.

The requirement for danger means that one’s immune system is programmed not to respond unless a clear threat is identified.

Vaccines work by tricking the body into thinking it has been infected with symptoms occurring being an indication it has successfully done so.

The fever, fatigue, and other signs associated with a COVID-19 infection are typically caused by the immune responses, not the virus itself.

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