In a new revelation, it has been discovered that a longer gap between first and second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine makes the body’s immune system stronger.
As per the experts, the findings support the UK’s decision on extending dosing intervals from the initial recommendation of three weeks.
As a part of 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.
This was when the Alpha COVID-19 variant, which was first identified in Kent, was rapidly spreading.
The findings suggested that both short and long dosing intervals of the Pfizer vaccine generated strong immune responses overall. Also, a three-week schedule generated fewer neutralising antibodies that can bind the virus and stop it infecting cells than a 10-week interval.
Prof Susanna Duanchie, the joint chief investigator in the Pitch study, at Oxford University said that two doses were better than one but the timing of the second was flexible keeping in mind the circumstances.
She was quoted by BBC saying that, “”Eight weeks is about the sweet spot for me, because people do want to get the two vaccine [doses] and there is a lot of Delta out there right now.
“Unfortunately, I can’t see this virus disappearing, so you want to balance that against getting the best protection that you can.”