AstraZeneca dose efficiency holds at 76% in the three-month period between the first and second dose – suggesting that this time period is good for maximising protection
The UK currently stands at 108,000 deaths, with an average rate of 1,122 people dead this week. One of those individuals is 100-year-old Captain Tom Moore, who raised £33 million for NHS charities by walking laps in his garden.
However, inoculation plans are going ahead on schedule. It seems that the UK will meet the 15 February target to immunise the most vulnerable categories of people – despite the ongoing fears about the South African mutation, and the disparity in vaccine take-up for BAME communities across the country.
This research is the first to examine how a COVID vaccine works on transmission, alongside confirming that the UK approach to administering doses (12 weeks in between as opposed to 3 or 4) is supported by the outcome.
Further good news is that transmission is reduced by 67% in those who have been given the Oxford and AstraZeneca first dose. That’s a significant amount of reduction in positive tests, suggesting that the vaccine really is stopping COVID from jumping easily from person to person.
Recent debate over the intentions of AstraZeneca CEO and the Commission mean that this research revelation is inevitably politically charged, in dismissing French criticism about the UK’s decision to dose in three month periods as opposed to sooner.
Is it better to give the second dose of the vaccine after 12 weeks?
The short answer is yes.
The three month period 22 days after vaccination is when an individual maintains 76% protection from COVID. It takes 22 days for the immune system to build-in the protection offered by the vaccine, which is the explanation for why some people may still catch COVID after being injected. This is why social distancing measures remain strictly in place.
When the second dose is given after 3 months, this level of protection rises to 82.4%.
Professor Andrew Pollard, Chief Investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial, and co-author, said that the new data “reassures us that people are protected from 22 days after a single dose of the vaccine.”
However, if the second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine is given less than six weeks after the first one, protection only rises to 54.9%.
Professor Pollard further commented: “These new data provide an important verification of the interim data that was used by more than 25 regulators including the MHRA and EMA to grant the vaccine emergency use authorisation.”
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