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HCSA is deeply concerned at the withdrawal of the second Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine dose for hospital staff. We've written to the Secretary of State. Now we're asking you to add your voice to press to reverse these plans.
We are urging members who have either received a single Pfizer dose and had their second postponed, or those who are set to be offered a single Pfizer dose, to register your opposition to this decision with the vaccination lead at your employer and your medical director.
Hospital colleagues in a similar position can do the same – you don’t have to be an HCSA member to use our template letters.
Unlike the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, the Pfizer vaccine was designed to be administered as a two-dose course with a 21-day gap between doses.
The manufacturer has restated this advice, while the World Health Organisation has stated that there is no evidence to support a delay beyond 42 days. The current policy in Britain is to extend the period between doses to 10-12 weeks.
While we would encourage all NHS staff to take up an offer of vaccination, we are concerned that the lack of data to support an increased 10 to 12-week gap between the first and second dose of the Pfizer vaccine will place healthcare workers working in Covid-positive environments at greater risk.
We therefore advise members that in the absence of data confirming the longevity of any protection afforded by a single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, a single dose should not be relied upon to offer protection over a prolonged period.
You may also wish to consider requesting the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine as an alternative if you have not yet received vaccination.
© Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association 2019
HCSA - the Hospital Doctors' Union is a professional association and trade union affiliated to the Trades Union Congress.