Friday 12 February 2021
In response to new scientific evidence that leaving a longer interval between the first and second AstraZeneca vaccine doses provides more protection to the individual, the Committee for Health & Social Care is extending the gap from six to 10 weeks.
While this only applies to the AstraZeneca vaccine, it does mean that some second dose appointments which are already booked will need to be rescheduled.
Anyone in the 70-79 age bracket who has been booked in for their vaccine will be written to. This letter will explain the decision and provide a rescheduled appointment date and time for the recipient's second dose, to align with the updated strategy. If anyone cannot make their new appointment time they will be able to call and reschedule, and the details will be included in the letter.
President for Health for Health & Social Care, Deputy Al Brouard said:
'We have always said that we will be informed by the evidence in shaping our vaccination programme and this continues to be the case. New scientific evidence has emerged in respect of how we can ensure that the vaccines administered are as effective as possible. Significantly, there is now clear evidence that by leaving a longer gap between doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, the second dose is more effective, providing more protection to the individual.
'At the recommendation of the Director of Public Health, Dr Nicola Brink, and her team, the Committeefor Health & Social Care has therefore agreed that locally the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine should be scheduled for 10 weeks after the first dose rather than the existing plan of six weeks.'
Those who have already had their second dose of AstraZeneca at the existing six-week interval should remain confident that they will still go on to develop a high level of protection against infection. A longer gap has just been proven to create an even greater level of protection.
Deputy Al Brouard reiterated that the Covid Vaccination Centre at Beau Sejour is a very safe place and urged all with appointments to attend them.
'Vaccination is key to our response to this pandemic. I can ensure you that the centre was specifically selected and designed to enable vaccinations to continue in the event of COVID cases in the community. The centre is following the very latest Public Health advice and all those with appointments booked should continue to attend.'