American pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. stated that it had no data to establish that the single dose of its Covid-19 vaccine would provide protection against the virus after more than 21 days, undermining the observation of the Joint Vaccination and Immunization Committee (JCVI) in the United Kingdom. The British government has announced a new immunization strategy after the committee recommended inoculating as many people with the first dose as possible before giving the second dose to others.
In its opinion released on Wednesday, JCVI said that to maximize the benefits of the short-term vaccination program, the second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine may be given 4 to 12 weeks after the first dose. In addition, he stated that the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can be given 3 to 12 weeks after the first dose.
“The Pfizer and BioNTech Phase 3 study for the Covid-19 vaccine was designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the vaccine following a 2-day, 21-day schedule,” Pfizer said in a statement. data to show that protection after the first dose is sustained after 21 days.
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The Pfizer statement comes after the head of the UK drug regulator, Dr June Raine, said the updated guide to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine allows for a “potentially longer range” than previously recommended. The pharmaceutical giant has called on UK health authorities to remain vigilant as it introduces various dosing regimens. Pfizer stressed the importance of monitoring efforts for any alternative schedules.
Meanwhile, the Medicines and Medicines Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has approved the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, AZD1222. Phase 3 studies of AZD1222 against SARS-CoV-2 in two different dosing schedules showed an average efficacy of 70.4%, with no hospitalizations or severe disease observed in the vaccinated groups three weeks after the first dose. UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the approval was “good news for the whole world” due to the cost and feasibility of storage.