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SA's six-week wait for second Pfizer jab backed by CDC guidelines

21 June 2021 5:18 PM
Tags:
CDC
Pfizer doses
Pfizer jab
Pfizer interval

Afternoon Drive host John Maytham chats to Joan van Dyk, a senior journalist at Bhekisisa Health Journalism Centre, about the Pfizer jab interval.
  • In South Africa, the recommended interval between the first and second dose of the Pfizer vaccine is 42 days (or six weeks)
  • This is in line with guidelines from the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Pfizer recommends a 21-day gap between doses while some studies have shown positive results for up to 12 weeks apart
  • Health journalist Joan van Dyk says a longer interval between the two doses works well for countries with a low vaccine supply

Image: © rfranca/ 123rf.com

New data shows that a longer delay between Pfizer doses could offer more immune protection, reports Bhekisisa Health journalist Joan van Dyk.

South Africa extended the interval between the first and second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, from 21 days to 42 days.

RELATED: 'Longer interval between Pfizer doses may provide greater long-term protection'

The six-week wait for the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine has been supported by guidelines issued by the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Van Dyk says some studies have found that people who got their jabs 12 weeks apart had three times the immune protection as those who were inoculated three weeks apart.

Some countries such as the United Kingdom and Canada have also extended the intervals for the Pfizer jab, she explains.

Van Dyk has co-authored an article detailing why the national EVDS will schedule your appointments 6 weeks apart.

South Africa's recommendation is in line with the CDC recommendation of six weeks. There is a bit of leeway in the research that was done to show that you're fine until about 12 weeks [between doses] in terms of your immune response.

Joan van Dyk, Senior journalist - Bhekisisa Health Journalism Centre 

It seems like different countries have chosen any kind of interval in between, depending on whether or not they have variants in the country and other public health measures.

Joan van Dyk, Senior journalist - Bhekisisa Health Journalism Centre 

We have a bunch of studies that suggest that extending the gap is actually a good idea both to get as many people as possible onto their first... when they studied the gap it shows that people's immune responses are almost three and a half times stronger when the gap between the two jabs is 12 weeks apart.

Joan van Dyk, Senior journalist - Bhekisisa Health Journalism Centre 

Countries like the UK and Canada realised that their vaccine supply is actually a little bit low, so they decided based on their data that they're going to make the gap 12 weeks... Their gamble paid off.

Joan van Dyk, Senior journalist - Bhekisisa Health Journalism Centre 

Pfizer has come out against various governments that have made this move and says it has only studied the 3-week gap.

Joan van Dyk, Senior journalist - Bhekisisa Health Journalism Centre 



21 June 2021 5:18 PM
Tags:
CDC
Pfizer doses
Pfizer jab
Pfizer interval

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