More data needed if second vaccine dose is diverted to first-timers, says Covid adviser

Prof Wendy Barclay says vaccine efficacy is on basis of two doses and ‘lot more analysis’ would be needed to change that

A senior government scientific adviser has said more data is needed before adopting a proposal to give as many people as possible an initial dose of a Covid vaccine rather than preserving stocks so there is enough for a second jab.

The former prime minister Tony Blair and Prof David Salisbury, a former director of immunisation at the Department of Health, have backed the plan. Each person requires two doses to boost effectiveness, but they said the limited existing stocks should be used to administer only a single dose to twice as many people, with the second shot given only when more stock is available.

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