SHARE
COPY LINK

VACCINE

Germany’s BioNTech warns against delaying second vaccine dose

German firm BioNTech warned Tuesday 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.

Germany's BioNTech warns against delaying second vaccine dose
An 81-year-old woman in Kiel receives a first dose of the the coronavirus vaccine. Photo: DPA

BioNTech, which developed the vaccine with US giant Pfizer, said 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 said.

READ ALSO: BioNTech: How the German firm is leading the Covid-19 vaccine 

“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.”

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.

Proponents say that practice would allow more of the population to get their first jab.

“While decisions on alternative dosing regimens reside with health authorities, we believe a second dose is required to provide the maximum protection against the disease,” BioNTech said.

Mainz-based BioNTech said it remains committed to continuing “dialogue with regulators, health authorities and governments” on “any public health decisions”.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

VACCINE

‘This can be a good summer’: Half of Germans vaccinated at least once against Covid

One in two Germans have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, health authorities said Friday, before warning against complacency as the Delta variant is expected to become the dominant strain.

'This can be a good summer': Half of Germans vaccinated at least once against Covid
Jens Spahn. Photo: DPA/Carsten Koall

Some 50.1 percent of the total German population, or 41.66 million people, have now been vaccinated at least once against the coronavirus, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) said on Friday.

At the same time 29.6 percent of the population now has full protection – that’s just under 25 million people.

“This can be a good summer,” said Health Minister Jens Spahn on Friday, before saying that the country needed to remain vigilant due to the spread of the Delta variant.

RKI President Lothar Wieler meanwhile warned that the numbers also showed that millions of people were still completely unprotected or only partially protected.

In order to largely dispense with the pandemic measures, the German government wants to hit 80 percent immunity – either through complete vaccination or an infection plus vaccination. 

The Delta variant, first identified in India, doubled to just over 6 percent of all new infections in Germany during the week ending June 6th in comparison with the previous seven days.

“By the autumn, it will be the dominant strain,” said Wieler.

It was “biologically logical” for the strain to become dominant simply because it was more infectious, he said.

Germany has eased most restrictions, reopening restaurants, shops, pools and museums in recent weeks as new infections dip sharply.

On Friday, it recorded 1,076 new cases, while the number of new cases over a seven day period continued to drop to 10 per 100,000 people.

Wieler said however that it was necessary to keep wearing masks indoors, such as on public transport or at offices.

“We have achieved really good results but the virus is still active and please let us give this virus no chance,” he urged.

SHOW COMMENTS