As Covid-19 cases rise across Tayside and Fife, many people are keen to get their second jag as early as possible. But what are the rules?
And how soon can we expect the vaccine rollout to be complete?
With First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today announcing 3285 new cases – 80% in people under 44 – many in that age bracket are seeking a second dose earlier than the 12 weeks advised.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommended in May that the second dose interval be brought forward from 12 to 8 weeks for people in priority groups 1-9 who had yet to receive their second dose.
This was to ensure people across the UK have the strongest possible protection from the virus – and any variants – as early as possible.
What are the rules about how long there should be between doses?
The JCVI advises a maximum interval between the first and second doses of 12 weeks for both vaccines.
They say the minimum time between first and second doses is three weeks for the Pfizer vaccine and four weeks for the AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines.
So, can I get the second vaccine early?
Current guidance is that you should get your second vaccine no sooner than eight weeks after the first one.
- For over-50s, frontline health and social care workers and the clinically vulnerable, the JVCI says: “Second doses for cohorts 1-9 should take place at 56-63 days (8-9 weeks).”
- For the rest of the population:
“For people in cohorts 10 onwards, the agreed dose interval period remains as previously, at 77-84 days (11-12 weeks)… unless there are exceptional circumstances.”
- If there is vaccine at the end of a clinic which may be wasted, second doses for cohorts 10 onwards can be brought forward.
However, advice is this should be as close to 12 weeks as possible and a minimum of at least eight weeks after the first dose.
NHS Inform‘s advice is that there is no clinical risk to having the second vaccination early but for best efficacy doses should be eight weeks apart.
When will the whole population be vaccinated against Covid-19?
The Scottish Government’s key dates for rollout are:
By Sunday June 27 everyone in the top nine priority groups should have received their second vaccine.
By Monday July 26 everyone aged 40-49 should have received their second jab.
By Friday August 20 all 30-39-year-olds should have received their second dose.
By Sunday September 12 all adults should receive both vaccines.
Will I have to get a booster jab?
Booster jabs for over 50s, potentially in the autumn, are currently being discussed.