In order to be able to vaccinate more people, France’s top health advisory body has recommended doubling the time gap between the first and second dose.
As of now, a gap of three weeks is being scheduled between the first and second dose of the coronavirus vaccine. However, the health body has recommended doubling this gap to six weeks.
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The Haute Autorite de Sante (HAS) believes increasing this gap will allow the country to vaccinate at least 700,000 more people than originally planned.
“The growing number of infections and the worrying arrival of new variants call for an acceleration of the vaccination campaign in order to prevent the epidemic from spiking in coming weeks,” the advisory body said in a statement.
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It also believes that since there is no pre-decided time gap between the doses by all countries, delaying the second dose will not pose any threat for locals as the first dose will already provide protection against the deadly coronavirus from the 12th or 14th day after people are administered the first dose.
However, the advisory body also added that while they are recommending a delay between the two doses, it is important that people remember getting the second dose as it is essential for protection against the deadly virus.
This has come after the UK recommended a gap of 12 weeks between the two doses, which was refuted by a group of British doctors who believe the gap should not exceed six weeks.
Earlier this month, the World Health Organization (WHO) had recommended a gap of 21 to 28 days between the two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.
Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical company, Pfizer-BioNTech has warned that it has no evidence suggesting their vaccine will continue to be protective against the virus if the second dose is administered after 21 days.
The HAS is an independent advisory body whose recommendations can inspire government policy but don’t automatically translate into action.