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Covid-19 vaccination update

31st December 2020

Healthcare organisations across Lancashire and South Cumbria are assessing the impact of a change in guidance for the second dose of the Covid vaccine for patients announced on 30 December. It is important that unless you are contacted please continue to attend your appointments to have a second dose of the Covid vaccine. 

Appointments for anyone who is currently booked to have their second Covid-19 vaccination between Monday 4 January and Friday 8 January 2021 will go ahead unless you receive information from the healthcare provider to say that this has been cancelled.

As of 30 December 2020, a second Covid vaccine (from Oxford University/AstraZeneca) has now been authorised (opens in new window) by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for use in the United Kingdom.

Updated guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and the UK chief medical officers (opens in new window) has also been published today on increased spacing of second vaccine doses for both the new AstraZeneca vaccine and the current Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Each person’s second dose must be from the same manufacturer as their first dose.

Taking both vaccines into consideration, the four UK Chief Medical Officers have determined that:

“…Prioritising the first doses of vaccine for as many people as possible on the priority list will protect the greatest number of at risk people overall in the shortest possible time and will have the greatest impact on reducing mortality, severe disease and hospitalisations and in protecting the NHS and equivalent health services. Operationally this will mean that second doses of both vaccines will be administered towards the end of the recommended vaccine dosing schedule of 12 weeks.”

This means that second doses for some of the current first dose recipients will need to be rescheduled, but for the reasons set out today by Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and the Chief Medical Officers, doing so should substantially improve individual and population-level protection against Covid-19 over the next three months.

This will allow as many first doses as possible to be provided as quickly as possible, providing substantive levels of individual protection while reaching more of those most at risk.

Please don’t contact the NHS to try and get a vaccine, we will contact you to arrange an appointment.

Find out more about Covid-19 vaccinations in Lancashire and South Cumbria.