Statement from the UK Chief Medical Officers on the prioritisation of first doses of COVID-19 vaccines

It is excellent news that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has today authorised the AstraZeneca (Oxford) vaccine for deployment across the UK.

The MHRA authorisation includes conditions that the AstraZeneca (Oxford) vaccine should be administered in 2 doses, with the second dose given between 4 and 12 weeks after the first. The MHRA has also clarified that for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, the interval between doses must be at least 3 weeks. For both vaccines, data provided to MHRA demonstrate that while efficacy is optimised when a second dose is administered, both offer considerable protection after a single dose, at least in the short term. For both vaccines the second dose completes the course and is likely to be important for longer term protection.

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