AstraZeneca Vaccine : 9 Week Dose Interval In Malaysia!

Malaysia is officially changing the AstraZeneca dose interval, from 12 weeks to just 9 weeks!

Find out how it affects vaccine efficacy!


AstraZeneca Vaccine : 9 Week Dose Interval In Malaysia!

On 30 June 2021, the National Immunisation Programme Coordinating Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin, said that the government will announce a new dose interval for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

“I will be making an announcement on the new dose interval tomorrow (Thursday, 1 July 2021).”

Just before 6 PM on 1 July 2021, he finally made the announcement :

Based on the recommendation from our Technical Working Group & with greater clarity of the delivery schedule, @JKJAVMY has decided to shorten the dosing interval for AZ from 12 to nine weeks. Those who participated in the first round of AZ will be notified of their 2nd appt soon.

This is likely due to the surge of cases caused by the highly-infectious Delta strain of COVID-19, which has been shown to infect people within seconds of close contact.

A single dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine has been shown to offer very limited protection against the Delta variant, so it is critical for people to get their second dose quickly.

Recommended : Why Delta Variant Causes MORE Breakthrough Infections!


AstraZeneca Vaccine : Dose Interval Changes

The AstraZeneca vaccine was originally designed with a 21-day interval between Dose 1 and Dose 2.

However, a study published in the Lancet found that the UK approach of delaying the second dose until 12 weeks / 3 months later made the AstraZeneca vaccine more effective!

Second Dose
Efficacy After 2 Doses
(14 days after Dose 2)
< 6 Weeks 55.1%
6 – 8 Weeks 59.9%
9 – 11 Weeks 63.7%
≥ 12 Weeks 81.3%

In light of the UK results, the WHO changed its advisory on the AstraZeneca vaccine, to recommend that the second dose be given 8 to 12 weeks after the first dose.

That is why the Malaysian government decided to follow WHO’s advice to extend the dose interval to 12 weeks after their first dose.

The new 9 week dose interval gives a small but significant boost in efficacy over 6 weeks, and seems like a reasonable compromise between that or 12 long weeks.

Recommended : AstraZeneca Vaccine : Second Dose Set At 12 Weeks!


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