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COVID-19 vaccine doses will now be given 12 weeks apart

COVID-19 vaccine doses will now be given 12 weeks apart

On the advice of the acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronald E. Goerges, the Virgin Islands (VI) has adjusted the intervals between the first and second doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines when administered to persons in the territory.

This was revealed by Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon Carvin Malone (AL) in a statement delivered during the March 10, 2021, Sixth Sitting of the Third Session of the Fourth House of Assembly (HoA) at Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duff’s Bottom, Tortola.

He said in data taken from pooled double-blinded randomized controlled studies in which 17,178 participants received the AstraZeneca vaccine, researchers found that the vaccines were more effective when taken in 12-week intervals.

As such, Hon Malone also revelated that persons who were scheduled for a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine within 6 weeks from the date of the first dose, would now have to take the second dose in 12 weeks.

Hon Carvin Malone revealed that persons who were scheduled for a second dose of COVID-19 vaccination within 6 weeks from the date of the first dose, would now have to take the second dose in 12 weeks.


More antibodies in 12 weeks compared to 6


“The study determined that vaccine efficacy was 81.3% after 2 standard doses were given 12 weeks apart, versus 51.1% when given after 2 standard doses six weeks apart.”

He said the study also showed that persons developed double the antibodies to fight the virus after taking the second vaccine does in 12 weeks, compared to those who took the second dose in intervals of less than 6 weeks.

According to the minister, persons affected by the new schedule in the VI can expect to be contacted by health authorities with a new appointment date.

The VI currently has 0 confirmed active cases of COVID-19, based on the latest March 11, 2021, statistics released by the Government.

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