Tony Blair urges the UK to use ALL coronavirus vaccine supplies to deliver at least one dose of the sting to millions of people as NHS doctors "frustrated" with slow adoption
- The former prime minister said today the two-dose plan needs to be changed and radically accelerated.
- Both Pfizer and Oxford's vaccines are given in two doses over a three-week period
- He requested that college students and other super spreaders be prioritized for the dose of the shock
Tony Blair has urged the UK to abandon its current coronavirus vaccination strategy and give a single dose of the shock to "as many people as possible" in an effort to curb the spread of the mutant strain in the UK.
The former prime minister said today that the current two-dose vaccination schedule, which gives priority to the elderly and vulnerable, "needs to be changed and radically accelerated" given the highly infectious variant.
Currently, Pfizer / BioNTechs is the only UK approved Covid vaccine. However, the vaccine made by Oxford University is expected to get the green light in the coming weeks. Both must be given over two shots three weeks apart to be fully effective.
The UK medical regulator has ruled that Pfizer's vaccine can block Covid a week after the second dose, but the US Medicines Agency found it provides "strong protection" to around half of patients seven days after the first.
The single-dose method has not yet been finalized, however, so scientists can only conclude from the experimental data that Pfizer's vaccine would stimulate a sufficiently good immune response in about half of those who received a dose.
Mr Blair, who has no scientific or medical qualifications, said that priority should be given to students and other asymptomatic spreaders of the disease along with frontline medical staff and the elderly and the vulnerable to tackle the winter wave of infections.
Currently, the priority list for Covid vaccines is based on how vulnerable people are to dying from the disease. Nursing home staff, the very elderly and their carers, and patients with serious illnesses such as cancer come first.
"If it's the spread that we're concerned about, it makes sense to vaccinate the spread of those who carry out the spread, especially certain occupations or age groups like college students," Blair said.
The UK has ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine and seven million of the vaccines made by Moderna, which won't be ready for use in the UK until the spring.
So far, the UK has 800,000 doses of Pfizer Jab and around 10 million are expected by the end of the year, despite the American drug giant facing raw material shortages that could limit UK access.
Tony Blair said the UK should give "as many people as possible" a single dose of a coronavirus vaccine to help curb the spread of the mutant strain in the UK
In a column in the Independent, he wrote, “The Drugs and Healthcare Products regulator should clear Oxford-AstraZeneca's vaccine within a few days to add it to the Pfizer vaccine. We have several million cans available and maybe another 15 million in January.
'It's a two-dose vaccine, but even the first dose offers significant immunity. Full effectiveness is achieved with a second dose two to three months later – longer than originally assumed.
& # 39; We should consider using all available doses as first doses in January, i.e. not holding half aside for second doses. Then when more production is put in, we'll have enough for the second dose.
& # 39; We should also have 30 million Johnson and Johnson vaccines – a single dose vaccine – with us by the end of January. We should try to use them all in February.
“We should continue to prioritize the frontline health workers and those most at risk, but this should not prevent others from being vaccinated.
“The aim should be to vaccinate as many people as possible in the coming months. The logic behind age is, of course, an increased risk of death.