BVI News

Study pushes BVI to change vaccine dose interval from 6 to 12 weeks

Health Minister Carvin Malone receiving his vaccination

Persons scheduled to get their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine six weeks after the first are now being advised to wait 12 weeks instead.

Health Minister Carvin Malone said this shift is because of a recently-published controlled study on the AstraZeneca vaccine..

The research — which involved 17,178 participants — found that taking the vaccine in 12-week intervals is more efficient.

“The study determined that vaccine efficacy was 81.3 per cent after two standard doses were given 12 weeks apart, versus 55.1 percent when given after two standard doses six weeks apart. That difference was statistically significant,” Malone reported while speaking in the House of Assembly on Wednesday.

“Given that the 12-week intervals are clearly superior, this is the preferred dosing interval advisable by the medical experts and the Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health,” Malone further explained.

He said the BVI Health Services Authority will now contact already-vaccinated persons to change the date they were scheduled to get their second dose of the vaccine.

Over 5,000 vaccinations to date

However, the minister made it clear that persons can stick to the original six-week regime, if they so choose.

“From a legal and ethical standpoint, it is a hope that persons will follow this new regime. And if they are being advised otherwise or chose a smaller dosing interval, [they] should do so with full information of the disadvantages. It’s not that it cannot be done, but it is not the most efficient,” said Malone, who was the first person in the BVI to get the first dose of the vaccine.

He was initially scheduled for the second dose on March 25 but his new return date is May 5.

As of March 10, 2021, a total of 5,031 COVID vaccinations have been administered in the BVI. Of that number 4,113 were administer on Tortola, 770 on Virgin Gorda, 68 on Anegada and 80 on Jost Van Dyke.

Government had suspended vaccinations as it awaited new shipments of the vaccine from Britain. But having since received 2,000 doses from Dominica and been guaranteed its next shipment from the UK on March 17, government resumed vaccinations on Tuesday. The suspension lasted four days.

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13 Comments

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  1. rrr says:

    This study had already been published before the vaccinations started. Now they have to go and change all the appointments instead of making them correctly in the first place. SMDH.

    Like 30
    Dislike 4
  2. Voter says:

    A good call to factor in flexibility as our knowledge of these vaccines is updated by clinical studies.

    I for one will be opting for the 12 weeks interval but I like there’s an option for those who prefer 6 weeks.

    Thankyou Mr Malone!

    Like 11
    Dislike 4
  3. Resident 2 says:

    I won’t be a Guinea pig I will wait for vaccine 2.0 to come out

    Like 18
    Dislike 7
  4. Efficacy says:

    Please stop using the terms efficient and efficiency, when you mean effective and efficacy. They do not mean the same thing.

    Like 19
    Dislike 1
  5. The Nation - Thalidomide says:

    See what I am saying but a vaccine which is still in its experimental stage. And this Government is encouraging very strongly its people and want the majority (80% they say) to be vaccined with a drug that is still being studied. #Thalidomide.

    Like 12
    Dislike 8
  6. The Nation - Thalidomide says:

    *vaccinated

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  7. Tell the Truth says:

    This vaccine was recently paused by some countries due to blood clot.

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  8. WELL SA!!! says:

    I smell a dirty sticking rotten fish. elsewhere is stating the reason they are stopping for now with this vaccine is that new out breaks are taking place with blood clots in people who took this vaccine. Stop the lying it is annoying especially when it has to do with people’s health. People are not lab rats. Stupes!!!

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  9. STTLOVE says:

    YES LAWD!, PRAY

  10. COVID 19 VACCINE says:

    I AM STICKING WITH 6 WEEKS GAP. YOU DON’T KNOW IF THEY GOING TO RUN OUT AGAIN IN A FEW WEEKS TIME.

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