London, Jan 23- The British Medical Association (BMA, in English) has asked health officials to reduce the number of weeks between the first and second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTch vaccine, considering that “no you can justify “this extension of the period in order to vaccinate more people.
Given the high level of COVID-19 infections in the United Kingdom due to the appearance of a new variant of the coronavirus in England, the British authorities decided that the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech should be given 12 weeks after the first, instead three weeks as recommended by that pharmacist.
The decision to extend the period between one dose and another to 12 weeks responds to the need for more people to receive the first and have some protection against covid-19, according to the Government’s medical officials.
However, in a letter that the influential BMA has sent to the government’s chief medical adviser, Chris Whitty, to which the BBC says today it has had access, the association admits that it agrees that vaccination should be done “as much as possible. fast possible “, but has asked to reduce the time difference between doses.
The BMA adds that the UK is “increasingly isolated” in this strategy, as no other country has adopted it, and it is increasingly difficult to justify.
“The absence of international support for the UK measure is a matter of deep concern and may jeopardize the confidence of the population and the (medical) profession in the vaccination program,” the letter said.
The president of the BMA, Chaand Nagpaul, indicated that there is “a growing concern” that the vaccine will be less effective if there is a difference of twelve weeks between one dose and another.
“Obviously, the protection will not disappear after six weeks, but what we do not know is what level it will offer” after a difference of 12 weeks, he added.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended a space of four weeks between doses and that only in exceptional circumstances be extended to six weeks.
Pfizer has stressed that trials of its vaccine only showed it to be effective when doses are delivered 21 days apart.
CONCERN ABOUT THE VARIANT
The BMA’s concern comes to light after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson admitted yesterday at a press conference that there is “evidence” that the variant identified in England “is associated with a higher level of mortality.”
“We have been informed today that, in addition to expanding more rapidly, there now also appears to be some evidence that the new variant, identified in London and the South East, could be associated with a higher level of mortality,” he said.
According to the latest official figures, 1,401 new deaths from coronavirus were registered yesterday.
The UK is vaccinating with Pfizer / BioNTech and Oxford / AstraZeneca preparations and has set a goal to vaccinate the most vulnerable groups – some 15 million people – by the middle of next month.
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