Most Danish experts concur that gap between vaccine jabs is too short
Everyone in Denmark over the age of 45 should have their vaccine injection dates by now – along with eligible teenagers. That’s how quickly the vaccination program is running right now.
However, there are those who believe the five to six-week gap between the jabs is too short. A DR survey of nine health experts revealed that six would like to see 8-12 weeks between injections. Only two said no.
Lots of sound arguments
With a longer gap, more people in Denmark could receive their first jab quicker, they argue.
“On the one hand, it is possible to get rid of the infection quickly by vaccinating those who spread the infection the most,” contended Allan Randrup Thomsen from the University of Copenhagen. “On the other hand, society is opened up more safely.”
Former Statens Serum Institut head Niels Strandberg Petersen further argues that it makes good sense from an immunity perspective.
“Firstly, there is good immunological basic knowledge that you get a better reinforcement of the immune system if there is a longer interval between vaccinations,” he said.
“Secondly, a new study from the UK shows that older people get more antibodies by waiting longer between jabs.”
The UK study in mid-May confirmed that the Pfizer vaccine worked better among the elderly if there was a 12-week gap.
The UK, Norway and Finland have all extended the gap between jabs.
But EMA approved six-week gap, not 12
However, Pfizer maintains that the European Medicines Authority approved its vaccine on the grounds that it would be administered with injections “up to six weeks” apart.
“It is up to the health authorities to make decisions about the dosing strategy. We cannot comment on dosing ranges other than those we have studied and on which the EMA has based its conditional approval,” it noted.
The Sundhedsstyrelsen health authority has no plans to extended the gap between jabs.
Thomas Benfield, an expert attached to Hvidovre Hospital, concurs that it does not need to be increased.
“Although there are some studies that show that it can be beneficial to extend the distance, there are conversely other studies that do not show a difference,” he said.
“Therefore, it is safest to stick to what the manufacturer has examined and approved the vaccine for and which, we know, works.”