International News

Covid vaccine: Eight-week gap seen as sweet spot for Pfizer jab antibodies

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A LONGER gap between first and second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine makes the body’s immune system produce more infection-fighting antibodies, UK researchers have found.

Experts say the findings support the UK’s decision on extending dosing intervals from the initial recommendation of three weeks.

An eight-week gap seems to be the sweet spot for tackling the Delta variant.

The UK initially extended the dosing gap to 12 weeks at the end of 2020.

But as the vaccination programme has been rolled out through the age groups – everyone over 18 has now been offered at least their first jab – people have been encouraged to bring their second jab forward and get it after eight weeks.

The government-funded work is published in a pre-print paper not yet peer reviewed.

For the study, the researchers compared the immune responses of 503 NHS staff who received their two shots at different intervals in late 2020 and early 2021, when the Alpha Covid variant, first identified in Kent, was rapidly spreading.

Antibody levels in their blood were measured a month after the second vaccine dose.

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