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BioNTech warns against delaying second vaccine dose

German firm BioNTech warns there is no data backing the “safety and efficacy” of delaying the second shot of its COVID-19 vaccine beyond three weeks, as some countries push back the jab to give more people their first dose.

BioNTech, which developed the vaccine with US giant Pfizer, says its clinical data showing 95 percent efficacy was based on a two-dose schedule separated by 21 days.

“The safety and efficacy of the vaccine has not been evaluated on different dosing schedules,” it says.

“Although data… demonstrated that there is a partial protection from the vaccine as early as 12 days after the first dose, there is no data to demonstrate that protection after the first dose is sustained after 21 days.”

A nurse receives the Pfizer-Biontech coronavirus vaccine at the Helsinki University Hospital in Helsinki, Finland on December 27, 2020 (Alessandro RAMPAZZO / AFP)

Faced with limited supplies of the vaccines, Denmark said Monday it would space out the jabs by up to six weeks, while Britain has said it would wait up to 12 weeks before giving the second jab.

Germany too is mulling pushing back the second shot to beyond 21 days.

AFP

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