“Don’t panic” is the message from Lincolnshire health bosses over delays between COVID-19 vaccine doses, as it is thought efficacy of the jab could actually increase the longer the gap is.
This comes as people in Mablethorpe have said they are in limbo over when they will get their second coronavirus jabs, despite waiting over the recommended time of three months.
Public Health officials have said the dose gap is “purposeful” and vaccines are “working to protect individuals”, despite having a “way to go” before COVID numbers come down to single figures.
Professor Derek Ward, Lincolnshire County Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “I think there’s some emerging evidence, and the theory and history of vaccines is if you wait 14 or 16 weeks between the two doses, it will not have a negative impact and it may well actually increase even further the efficacy of the doses.
“If you’ve got your second vaccine booked, and it’s 12 weeks later, but something happens and you can’t get it until week 13 or 14, don’t panic.
“It will have no negative impact, and in fact it might actually improve your antibody response, but we will know more about that as the research develops.”
Professor Ward believes the gap of three months between first and second coronavirus jabs is “meaningful” and “purposeful” and it is “unequivocal in [his] professional opinion, the vaccine is working to protect individuals”.
He added: “It is also starting to drive down the overall prevalence of COVID in the population […but] we’ve still got a way to go before we can really get the figures down to ones and twos and threes like last summer, but I’ve got no doubts, we’ll get there.”
On Thursday, the pace of COVID vaccinations in Lincolnshire actually ramped up since April 11, with a further 41,242 doses administered until April 18 – a 3.3% increase on the 39,915 jabs given the week before.
Of those over the age of 45, a total of 101,573 have had their second dose and 16,629 under 45s have have received a second jab in Lincolnshire.