UK Covid-19 vaccinations: Latest figures
Public Health England medical director Dr Yvonne Doyle has defended the decision to delay the second dose of the coronavirus vaccine to 12 weeks, after new reports by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) warned that delaying the doses will increase the chance of a vaccine-resistant strain of Covid-19 emerging.
The British Medical Association has called on Professor Chris Whitty, chief medical officer for England, to halve the gap between the first and second doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine from 12 weeks to six weeks.
But Dr Doyle told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the decision had been taken on “public health and scientific advice”, adding: “The more people that are protected against this virus, the less opportunity it has to get the upper hand.”
It comes as ministers are preparing to discuss whether to tighten restrictions at UK borders further, which could include the possibility of hotel quarantines for travellers – a measure already taken by a number of countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and others.
Delaying second dose of vaccine increases risk of new resistant strain – Sage
Government scientists have warned that delaying doses of coronavirus vaccines will increase the chances of a vaccine-resistant strain of Covid-19 emerging.
New reports released by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) warn that resistant new variants were a “realistic possibility” driven by the virus reacting to increasing levels of natural immunity among the population.
Read the detailed report by our Health Correspondent Shaun Lintern:
Kate Ng23 January 2021 09:04
Good morning, and welcome to The Independent’s liveblog following the latest developments in the coronavirus pandemic.
Kate Ng23 January 2021 09:02