Covid vaccinations - change to timing of 2nd dose

Why has the time between getting a first and second dose of the vaccination changed?

The NHS is following new guidance from the Government’s expert advisors which says that prioritising a first dose of the Covid vaccination for as many people as possible will save more lives.

This is because even with just one dose the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been estimated to offer 89% effectiveness from two weeks after it is given and the Oxford/AstraZeneca has been estimated to offer 74% effectiveness from two weeks after it is given.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jonathan Van Tam, has said: “The evidence clearly shows vaccinated individuals get almost complete protection after the first dose. Simply put, every time we vaccinate someone a second time, we are not vaccinating someone else for the first time. It means we are missing an opportunity to greatly reduce the chances of the most vulnerable people getting severely ill from Covid-19. If a family has two elderly grandparents and there are two vaccines available, it is better to give both 89 per cent than to give one 95 per cent protection with two quick doses, and the other grandparent no protection at all.”

To protect as many people in at-risk groups as quickly as possible, booster doses will now be delivered within 12 weeks of the first dose.

Will I be contacted when it is time to have my 2nd dose?

Patients still need to receive their second vaccine, and we will contact you when it is time for your second dose. It is important that you attend your second appointment when you have been contacted.