As recommended, the second dose of Pfizer/BioNTech should be administered after 3-4 weeks. A study conducted by specialists at Oxford University in the UK indicates that the immune response in the form of more neutralizing antibodies is better when this period is extended.
So when is it best to give a second dose? In the UK, as early as December 2020, it was proposed to extend the administration of the second dose of this vaccine to 12 weeks. It was later recommended that this period be shortened to 8 weeks. “I think an eight-week period is optimal” – says one of the lead authors of the study, Prof. Susanna Donacci from Oxford.
Oxford University specialists assure that due to the long duration of the second dose (more than 3-4 weeks – ed), the level of neutralizing antibodies is 2 times higher.
Neutralizing antibodies play an important role in protecting the body from infection, in this case against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. However, the so-called cellular response, that is, the appropriate production of T-lymphocytes responsible, among other things, for the destruction of cells infected with microbes.
In a study conducted by British specialists, it was found that the levels of Tc lymphocytes (destroying infected cells) were 1.6 times lower after the second dose of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine was administered. However, it is the level of so-called helper cells that are responsible for a long-lasting immune response.
The authors of the study stress that it is necessary to take two doses because one dose does not provide complete protection, especially against the most contagious variant, Delta, which is widespread throughout the world. Delaying the administration of the second dose means that the vaccinated person is not fully protected for a long time, but the end result is better.
According to Public Health England (PHE) data, Pfizer/BioNTech is effective in reducing the risk of severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalization and death in vaccinated people after the first dose.
Zbigniew Wojtasiński / PAP / Agata C.
“Internet Geek. Food Enthusiast. Thinker. Beer Practitioner. Bacon Specialist. Music Addict. Traveler.”