GPs blast 'unfair' decision to delay second dose of Covid vaccines

General practitioners criticized a decision to postpone delivery of the second dose of Covid-19 vaccines, saying the move will cause major problems for thousands of partially vaccinated elderly and vulnerable people.

When the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine approval was announced on Wednesday, a new dosing regimen was unveiled to allow for faster adoption.

Experts advising the government, including the Joint Vaccination and Immunization Committee (JCVI), said the focus should be on giving those at risk the first dose of the vaccine they receive, rather than the required two doses in such short Provide time as possible.

This now means that the second dose of the Oxford / AstraZeneca and Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines will be given within 12 weeks of the first.

General practitioners have now warned that the treatment regimen change will affect tens of thousands of elderly and vulnerable patients who should receive their second dose of Pfizer’s puff in the coming days and weeks and will need to be rebooked.

The British Medical Association (BMA) GP Committee Chairman Dr. Richard Vautrey said, “It is gross and obviously unfair to tens of thousands of our most vulnerable patients to try to reschedule their appointments now.

“The decision to ask GPs at such short notice to rebook the patients for three months will also cause enormous logistical problems for almost all vaccination centers and practices.

“For example, to get in touch with only two thousand elderly or vulnerable patients, a team of five has to work in a practice for about a week, and that is simply untenable.”

Dr. Vautrey said the BMA will support practices that meet existing re-vaccination deadlines and urged the government to do the same.

He added, “The government needs to see that it is only right that existing bookings for the oldest and most vulnerable members of our society be recognized, and it also needs to publish a scientifically validated rationale for its new approach as soon as possible. “

The criticism comes after Pfizer said it only assessed its vaccine on a two-dose regimen, where people received the shock three weeks apart, and there “was no data to show that protection was after the.” first dose is maintained after 21 days ”.

At a briefing on Downing Street on Wednesday, Prof. Wei Shen Lim, chairman of the JCVI, said that given the current high rates of Covid infection, there was an “immediate urgency for fast and high vaccine intake”.

He added, “This will allow the greatest number of eligible people to get a vaccine in the shortest possible time and it will protect the greatest number of lives.”

During the same briefing, Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed, Chair of the Commission’s Human Medicine Expert Working Group on Covid-19 Vaccines, added: “Due to the design of the study, some people received a second dose at different time intervals.

“This allowed an analysis of the vaccine’s effectiveness if you should be able to delay between four and 12 weeks.

“This showed that efficacy was high, up to 80% when there was a three-month interval between the first and second dose, which is why we are recommending it.”

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