Covid vaccine, the pros and cons of delaying the administration of the second dose

Covid vaccine, the pros and cons of delaying the administration of the second dose

Covid vaccine

After the United Kingdom, Italy is also starting to consider the hypothesis of administering the first dose of vaccine to more people while delaying the second. An option that has pros and cons

(Image: Unsplash) Speaking at the summit of 27 EU leaders, Prime Minister Mario Draghi recently suggested “the possibility of prioritizing first doses of the vaccine, in the light of recent scientific literature ”, with the aim of“ going faster ”with the immunization campaign underway. This is an idea that the UK has already proposed - and started to implement - in early January 2021: given that the vaccine is available in limited quantities, and that the virus is certainly not waiting for the completion of the vaccination, the concept is to try to immunize as many people as possible with the first dose, delaying the administration of the second dose. In this way, say the supporters of the proposal, the number of immunized subjects could be significantly enlarged, even if imperfectly.

This is a classic optimization problem, which can be reformulated in this way: established that the first dose of vaccine (any vaccine), by itself, already confers partial immunity, priority must be given to the administration of full vaccines (first and second dose, exactly as tested in clinical trials and validated by regulatory authorities) or is it better to give the first dose to as many people as possible and then proceed with the second later? As you will see, the answer is far from obvious: the strategy has pros and cons, and unfortunately we do not yet have enough evidence to establish whether it is right or wrong, also because vaccination campaigns have been running for too long. little time to be able to observe the long-term effects.

Dalai Lama urges people to get Covid vaccine after having first dose

The Dalai Lama, the 85-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader, was administered the first shot of the coronavirus vaccine on Saturday at a hospital in the north Indian hill city of Dharamshala.

After receiving the injection, he urged people to be brave and come forward to be vaccinated.

“In order to prevent some serious problems, this injection is very, very helpful,” he said.

Dr GD Gupta, of Zonal hospital, where the shot was administered, told reporters that the Dalai Lama was observed for 30 minutes afterwards. “He offered to come to the hospital like a common man to get himself vaccinated,” he said.

Ten other people who live in the Dalai Lama’s residence were also vaccinated, Gupta said. All 11 received the Covishield vaccine, a version of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, manufactured by India’s Serum Institute.

India: number of new coronavirus cases per day

India has confirmed more than 11m cases of the coronavirus and more than 157,000 deaths. The country, which has the second-highest caseload in the world behind the US, began its vaccination drive in January, starting with healthcare and frontline workers. Earlier this month, it expanded its inoculation drive to older people and those with medical conditions that put them at risk.

The Dalai Lama made Dharamshala his headquarters in 1959, fleeing Tibet after a failed uprising against Chinese rule. China does not recognise the Tibetan government-in-exile and accuses the Dalai Lama of seeking to separate Tibet from China.

The Dalai Lama denies being a separatist and says he merely advocates for substantial autonomy and protection of the region’s native Buddhist culture.

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