Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Don't tell Peter


Israel’s coronavirus tsar has warned that a single dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine may be providing less protection than originally hoped, as the country reported a record 10,000 new Covid infections on Monday.

In remarks reported by Army Radio, Nachman Ash said a single dose appeared “less effective than we had thought”, and also lower than Pfizer had suggested.

By contrast, those who had received their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine had a six- to 12-fold increase in antibodies, according to data released by Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer on Monday.

The issue of some vaccines being less effective after a single dose rather than two is well known, as well as the fact that protection is not immediate. While the first dose can take several weeks to promote an effective antibody response, the second dose can trigger different responses, supercharging the protection. Pfizer itself says a single dose of its vaccine is about 52% effective. Some countries such as the UK have delayed administering their second doses to try to maximise the number of people given a first dose.

I'm not surprised. The cockamamie idea of giving as many people as possible an initial dose of a Covid vaccine - rather than preserving stocks so there is enough for second jabs first came to my attention when it was suggested by serial self-deluder Tony Blair on 22 December. As an idea it is based on precisely ..... nothing. It is like me suggesting that we could double the amount of shots we have available by halving the dose notwithstanding.

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