GP claims delaying second dose of Pfizer vaccine is 'unlicensed trial'
GP claims delaying second dose of Pfizer vaccine beyond three weeks is an ‘unregulated and unlicensed trial’
- Dr Rosie Shire, of Doctors’ Association UK, raised concerns over Pfizer delay
- She called for information on immunity delivered if doses given 12 weeks apart
- Matt Hancock defended decision to delay doses as ‘essential’ to save more lives
A GP has criticised the government for delaying the period between doses of the Pfizer Covid vaccine to 12 weeks, describing the roll out as an ‘unregulated and unlicensed trial’.
Dr Rosie Shire, a member of the Doctors’ Association UK, raised concerns that studies of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine only show two doses three weeks apart to deliver 90 per cent immunity.
She told Sky News: ‘What really concerns us is we don’t know what happens if you don’t give that second dose of vaccination after three weeks’.
‘The fact is that people are being vaccinated now and being put into what is effectively an unregulated unlicensed trial, whereby they’re receiving this vaccination on the understanding that they don’t know what’s going on.’
The GP said that it was ‘really hard’ to explain to people they were vaccinating with the Pfizer vaccination that they would get ‘some immunity’ but that after three weeks it was unclear how much.
She added that it was difficult to obtain ‘informed consent’ from patients when doctors did not have the full information to give to them.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock defended the Government’s decision to delay the time between vaccine doses, saying that it was ‘essential’ to save more lives, more quickly.
‘We do know this policy is going to save lives,’ he said, speaking on Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday.
‘So long as there is decent efficacy after the first dose, and we have a high degree of confidence that that’s the case, then in a situation where there is a limited supply… you want to get as many people to have as much protection as possible as quickly as possible.
Dr Rosie Shire, of the Doctors’ Association UK, raised concerns studies of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine only show two doses three weeks apart to deliver 90 per cent immunity
‘If you have grandparents who are both in their 70s or 80s you obviously would want each of them to have one dose when you know that one dose is effective, rather than one to have the full two doses and one to have no protection at all.’
Yesterday Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty told colleagues The Guardian’s report that only a third of people who have received one injection were protected was ‘total nonsense’ which could threaten the uptake of the jab.
The newspaper quoted ‘Israeli experts’ but No 10’s vaccine advisers say the real figure is 89 per cent, starting 14 days after the first jab.
It was reported yesterday that a single shot of the Pfizer vaccine had led to a ‘major presence’ of antibodies in 91 per cent of doctors and nurses who received it in Israel within 21 days.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock defended the Government’s decision to delay the time between vaccine doses
The report quoted Israeli Covid commissioner Professor Nachman Ash as saying that a single dose of Pfizer appeared ‘less effective than we had thought’, once cases of asymptomatic infection were included, although those who had received their second dose had a six- to 12-fold increase in antibodies.
Later in the week, the paper reported that Israel’s health ministry had ‘moved to row back on comments’ by Professor Ash’s suggestion that single doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine had not given as much protection against the disease as had been hoped.
It quoted the Israeli Ministry of Health as saying that the ‘full protective impact of the vaccine’ had not yet been seen.
The Guardian said last night that it had reported both Professor Ash’s ‘initial comments’ and subsequent comments from Israel’s health ministry: ‘The Guardian’s independent readers’ editor has not received any complaints about either article.’
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