The covid-19 vaccine should be given in two doses, 21-28 days apart, as recommended by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
On Tuesday afternoon, regions of Sweden have provided half of the vaccine doses to ensure that the second dose is reached, but after the Public Health Agency clarifies, all doses will now be used.
State epidemiologist Anders Tegnell emphasized that deliveries are underway, so areas should not be concerned about giving the second dose at the scheduled time. He stated at the press conference, among other things, that Denmark is far ahead of Sweden in the number of vaccinations.
Anders Tegnell said the difference is quite clear, which is that many Swedish regions have provided doses, and this has not happened in Denmark.
Denmark deviates from the recommendations
Denmark is also one of a number of European Union countries planning to deviate from the recommended dosage ranges, and now allow a waiting time of up to six weeks between the first and second injections, according to Reuters. Germany is considering the same strategy to increase the vaccination rate.
In light of the current shortage of vaccines and the very large number of infected and sick people, it is more effective with a strategy in which as many as possible are vaccinated as soon as possible, says Leif Eric Sander, director of vaccine research at Charité Hospital in Berlin, told the news agency.
However, both the EMA and the World Health Organization (WHO) advise not to deviate from the recommended vaccination schedule, and Pfizer / Biontech warns in a joint statement that there is a lack of data to support a prolonged dose range.
Their clinical trials, as well as those of vaccine manufacturers Moderna and Astra Zeneca, are based on injections given every three weeks.
Wait up to twelve weeks
But the warnings did not prevent Britain from further delaying the second dose. British authorities have approved a full twelve-week break, as they consider the benefits outweigh the risks.
Ensures that more at-risk groups receive valuable vaccine protection in the coming weeks and months, reducing deaths and the burden on health care, says a Ministry of Health spokesperson according to Reuters.
Many researchers question the vaccine strategy in the UK, as it is uncertain whether the second dose will have a similar effect after twelve weeks, especially among the elderly. In addition, it raises the voices that the delay may increase the risk of virus-resistant mutations of the vaccines.
As Expressen previously reported, a clear effect from the Pfizer / Biontech vaccine can be seen ten days after the first injection. to me Accounts of British Authorities This is about 50 percent protection. However, a second dose of the vaccine is necessary to create safer and long-lasting protection.
“He hit himself in the foot.”
Clinical immunology Professor Agnes Wold explains that the second injection is the so-called booster shot. Without it, T-cell immunity would get worse, according to her.
Getting a good T-cell response, with so-called killer cells, is the most important thing to get good protection. Sure, four or five weeks between syringes does not matter, but twelve weeks imply a great deal of uncertainty. You risk getting a bad answer. “I think what the English are doing is difficult,” says Agnes Wold, “You take a little liberty.”
What are the risks you see with the British strategy?
If you only give people one dose instead of two, you might think that those who were vaccinated become half immune, and then it would be fine. But if immunity worsens, say 20 percent for twice as many, you shot your foot. So it’s got less protection overall.
In Denmark, periods of six weeks are approved. Can it work well?
We don’t know for sure if it works or not, because the vaccine was tested for three weeks between doses. I never think you should set up your vaccination program after six weeks, but if deliveries are delayed for certain groups, it might not be the whole world, says Agnes Wold.
‘Not a good solution’
Lennart Svenson, a professor of molecular virology at Linköping University and an expert with the government reference group for vaccines against COVID-19, agrees that deviation from the vaccine schedule is a problem.
In the UK, a situation arose where they wanted to vaccinate more people more quickly once a dose was given, but this is not a good solution. There is no clinical evidence that it works. This situation will never arise if there is no shortage of doses, no one will test it with another vaccine.
In the United States, it is also debated whether one should give half a dose on two occasions, in order to be able to offer vaccinations to more people, but the FDA has Objected to that Currently.
On the other hand, Joe Biden plans to increase the vaccination rate by distributing all available vaccine doses upon taking office, in contrast to the way the Trump administration provided a second dose for every person who was vaccinated, according to reports. CNN.
I am not for any of the solutions, but if you have to go for one of the alternatives, I think half of the two doses is a much better alternative than just giving one dose. However, it is an emergency solution, and nothing we would recommend in Sweden, says Lennart Svensson.
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