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Plan to leave 12 weeks between Covid-19 vaccine doses will get WHO backing, expert predicts  #Englishheadline

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Will WHO back 12-week jab gap? Plan to leave 12 weeks between Covid-19 vaccine doses will be supported by World Health Organisation, expert predicts

  • The WHO currently recommends a maximum of six weeks between doses
  • The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommendation for a longer period was initially met with criticism 
  • Britain’s four chief medical officers back the strategy, and supporters say it will save lives by providing more people with some level of protection sooner  
  • JCVI deputy chairman Professor Anthony Harndern predicts the WHO will come into line with UK guidance

A decision to leave 12 weeks between vaccine doses to stretch out UK supplies could be backed up by the World Health Organisation, it has been claimed.

The controversial recommendation had been made by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) for people’s second jabs to be delivered up to three months after the first.

Britain’s four chief medical officers back the strategy, and supporters say it will save lives by providing more people with some level of protection sooner.

But critics include the British Medical Association, whose council chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul has said the level of protection from delaying a second dose was not known.

Yesterday, however, the deputy chairman of the JCVI suggested the strategy could soon be adopted by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

A decision to leave 12 weeks between vaccine doses to stretch out UK supplies could be backed up by the World Health Organisation, it has been claimed. Pictured: A World Health Organization building in Geneva, Switzerland [File photo]

A decision to leave 12 weeks between vaccine doses to stretch out UK supplies could be backed up by the World Health Organisation, it has been claimed. Pictured: A World Health Organization building in Geneva, Switzerland [File photo]

Britain's four chief medical officers back the strategy to delay giving people a second dose of the vaccine by up to three months after the first, and supporters say it will save lives by providing more people with some level of protection sooner. Pictured: A woman receives a dose of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine at Acklam Road pharmacy in Middlesbrough on Thursday

Britain’s four chief medical officers back the strategy to delay giving people a second dose of the vaccine by up to three months after the first, and supporters say it will save lives by providing more people with some level of protection sooner. Pictured: A woman receives a dose of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine at Acklam Road pharmacy in Middlesbrough on Thursday

Professor Anthony Harnden, from the University of Oxford, said: ‘Now I happen to know that WHO are looking at this at the moment.. because there’s a couple of WHO committee members that sit on JCVI – and looking very, very carefully at what the UK are doing.

‘And my prediction will be – this is my personal prediction – that the WHO will actually come into line with what the UK are doing.

‘I think that won’t be too long before that happens.

‘And so the more that we see the data reassuring us that we’re making the right decision, the more likely it is that WHO will come into line.’

Currently the WHO recommends a maximum of six weeks between doses of the Pfizer jab, although its position is that it will reconsider this if more evidence becomes available.

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