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France to delay second dose of Pfizer vaccine

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PARIS, Jan 7 (Reuters) – French health authorities have recommended delaying the second doses of Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine, Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Thursday.

Veran told reporters that the second shot of the vaccine could be delayed to six weeks after the first instead of three as had been planned so far.

POLITICO reports that “faced with surging coronavirus cases, some European countries are considering whether to change tack and join the U.K. in vaccinating as many people as possible with just one dose rather than the two administered during clinical trials so far.

This issue has been live since December 30, when the U.K. announced its decision to delay second doses by up to 12 weeks when it approved the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for emergency use. The switch also applied to the BioNTech/Pfizer jab. 

Just this week, Denmark announced its decision to delay the second dose of both the Pfizer and forthcoming Moderna jabs by up to six weeks. The German health ministry has also confirmed looking into widening vaccination coverage by similar delays between doses.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Matthias Blamont; Writing by Matthieu Protard; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

Additional report from POLITICO

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