HDA UK Media and Political Bulletin – 5 August 2021
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that all 16- and 17-year olds receive their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
This updated advice means that young people will be provided around 80% protection against hospitalisation, following receipt of their first dose.
Protection is expected to be even higher as younger people respond better to vaccines and some will have already had the virus, meaning the first dose should act as a ‘booster’ to their immunity.
The JCVI advice recommends prioritising the first dose in younger age groups and delays the recommendation on second does.
The first dose has been prioritised to limit the disruption to education and keep young people well.
The second dose can be given later and will extend protection for a longer period, for example when those young people start work or go to university, or if we begin to get another wave of cases in winter.
Advice on when to offer the second vaccine dose will come later, but it is expected that when the second dose is offered, this will be from 12 weeks after the first dose. A longer gap of 8-to-12-weeks between the first and second doses is beneficial as it offers more protection for a longer period of time.
Professor Wei Shen Lim, COVID-19 Chair for JCVI, said: “While COVID-19 is typically mild or asymptomatic in most young people, it can be very unpleasant for some and for this particular age group, we expect one dose of the vaccine to provide good protection against severe illness and hospitalisation.”
From Factory to Pharmacy
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