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Covid vaccine: UK doctors criticise rescheduling of second doses

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Plans to delay giving the second dose of a Covid vaccine to more than 500,000 people who have received the first jab have caused outcry among doctors who say cancelling appointments wastes time, causes confusion among patients and is potentially unethical.

On Wednesday the government announced a change to its Covid vaccination strategy, saying second doses of the newly approved Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and the previously approved Pfizer/BioNTech jab would now be given up to 12 weeks after the first dose.

The move applies to people scheduled to have their second dose of the Pfizer jab after 4 January, as well as those yet to receive either jab. The government said it hoped the approach would mean as many people as possible soon have some protection against the disease.

However, the announcement caused controversy, with Pfizer and BioNTech warning that two doses of their vaccine were required for maximum protection against Covid and that they did not have evidence that the first dose alone offered protection after three weeks.

Now doctors have said cancelling appointments for the second dose will take huge amounts of time and could lead to confusion.

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Source: The Guardian, 31 December 2020

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