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WHO recommends two doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine within 21-28 days

ITN News Editor
By ITN News Editor January 6, 2021 17:11

WHO recommends two doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine within 21-28 days

COVID-19 patients should take two doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine within a period of 21-28 days, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday as many countries grappled with a more highly infectious coronavirus variant.

“SAGE recommends the administration of two doses of the vaccine within 21 to 28 days,” Alejandro Cravioto, chairman of WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE), told an online news briefing.

He said SAGE did not recommend the Pfizer jab for travellers unless they were in a very high-risk group due to the very limited supply of anti-COVID drugs at present.

“While we acknowledge the absence of data on safety and efficacy after one dose beyond the three-four weeks studied in the clinical trials, SAGE made a provision for countries in exceptional circumstances of (Pfizer) vaccine supply constraints to delay the administration of the second dose for a few weeks in order to maximise the number of individuals benefiting from a first dose,” Cravioto said.

Kate O’Brien, a WHO immunization expert, said there was no outside limit for receiving a second vaccine dose.

The WHO’s technical chief on COVID-19, Maria Van Kerkhove, said there is no indication that the coronavirus variant identified in South Africa is more transmissible than the one spreading fast in Britain.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, said he was “very disappointed” that China had not authorised entry of an international mission to examine the origins of the global coronavirus pandemic.

“Today, we learned that Chinese officials have not yet finalised the necessary permissions for the team’s arrival in China,” Tedros said. “I have been in contact with senior Chinese officials and I have once again made it clear the mission is a priority for the WHO.”

China reported the first cases of a pneumonia of unknown cause in the city of Wuhan to the WHO on Dec. 31, 2019 and closed a market where the novel coronavirus was believed to have emerged.

Health ministers called on the WHO in May to identify the source of the virus and how it crossed the species barrier.

The United States, which has accused China of having hidden the outbreak’s extent, has called for a “transparent” WHO-led investigation and criticised its terms, which allowed Chinese scientists to do the first phase of preliminary research.

 

ITN News Editor
By ITN News Editor January 6, 2021 17:11

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