AstraZeneca jab works better if doses given further apart, scientists say

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London, Feb. 21 (BNA): The scientists who developed the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine have said that it is more effective if there is an interval of at least 12 weeks between the first and second doses.


"A 3-month dose interval might have advantages over a program with a short dose interval for roll-out of a pandemic vaccine to protect the largest number of individuals in the population as early as possible when supplies are scarce, while also improving protection after receiving a second dose," the vaccine's lead developer, Andrew Pollard of Oxford University, wrote in an article published in The Lancet medical journal on Friday, Deutsche press agency (dpa) reported.


The results of recent clinical trials, involving more than 17,000 people in Britain, South Africa and Brazil, support the British government's strategy of allowing a longer interval between the first and second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.


The vaccine showed an efficacy rate of 81 per cent with an interval of at least 12 weeks between the first and second doses - up from 55 per cent with a 6-week interval between the two doses.


Germany's Standing Committee on Vaccination (Stiko) has so far recommended that the second dose of AstraZeneca's jab be administered 9 to 12 weeks after the first.