AstraZeneca Vaccine : Second Dose Set At 12 Weeks!

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The second dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will be set at 12 weeks, instead of 4 weeks.

Find out what’s going on, and why people are anxious for the second dose to be taken at 12 weeks!


AstraZeneca Vaccine : Second Dose Set At 12 Weeks!

Don’t worry if the VaksinCOVID or MySejahtera system shows your next appointment for the AstraZeneca vaccine is set at 4 weeks.

That appears to be a mistake that will be soon corrected, according to National Immunisation Programme Coordinating Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin.

The default interval for the second dose will be 12 weeks (3 months), but you can request for an earlier appointment, if for example, you need to travel for work or studies.

AstraZeneca Vaccine : Second Dose Set At 12 Weeks!


AstraZeneca Vaccine : Why Second Dose At 12 Weeks?

When the first Phase 3 trial results of AstraZeneca Vaxzevria vaccine was released, it has 62% and 90% efficacy – based on two different dosages.

AstraZeneca then agreed to carry out a new multi-country trial using the more effective lower dose, which concluded in February 2021 :

  • 76% efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19 22 days after Dose 1
  • 94% efficacy against hospitalisation 28-34 days after Dose 1
  • 81.3% efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19 after Dose 2

A subsequent Phase 3 trial in the US showed the the vaccine has a 76% efficacy at preventing symptomatic COVID-19, and 100% efficacy in preventing severe disease and hospitalisation.

More interestingly, a study under review at the Lancet found that the UK approach of delaying the second dose until 12 weeks / 3 months later made the vaccine more effective!

Second Dose
Less Than 6 Weeks 54.9%
12 Weeks Or More 82.4%

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 many Malaysians are anxious to get their second dose of AstraZeneca 12 weeks or later, after their first dose!

But do not worry if you need to take your dose a little earlier at 8 weeks. These efficacy results are looking at symptomatic COVID-19 – including those with no symptoms or mild ones.

Even the first dose alone will greatly protect you against hospitalisation and death! The second dose just gives you an extra boost against mild or asymptomatic COVID-19!

Recommended : Why COVID-19 Vaccine Efficacy Does NOT Matter!


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