New research shows that one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine can provide an elevated level of protection for three months. This revelation could allow more first doses to be administered by putting off the second shot for those who’ve already received one.
It’s good news for U.K. officials who have been under pressure to justify their decision to delay the additional dose.
The study shows the vaccine, developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, cut transmission of the virus by two-thirds and prevented severe disease.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News on Wednesday “That reduction in transmission, as well as the fact there is (sic) no hospitalizations, the combination of that is very good news. And it categorically supports the strategy we’ve been taking on having a 12-week gap between the doses.”
Dr. Andrew Pollard of Oxford University suggests that even if the virus adapts, “that doesn’t mean that we won’t still have protection against severe disease.” Dr. Pollard further suggested should an update to the vaccine become necessary, it would take considerably less time and effort than what was required last year to get the large-scale trials run.