The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) said that there would be a 10-week interval between the 1st and 2nd dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for COVID-19.
The DHA revealed this on its social media platforms, “Recent studies from the University of Oxford on the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine showed a higher efficacy and higher acquired immunity when the interval between the first and second dose was increased.
“Based on this study and recommendations of the World Health Organisation, DHA has approved a 10-week interval between the first and the second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.”
The DHA also said, “All those who are due for the second dose of this vaccine will receive a text message with the date and location for their vaccination appointment.”
The DHA also called on all COVID-19 close contact cases to complete the entire 10-day quarantine period to help prevent the spread of the disease.
The authority also highlighted 10 practices close contacts must avoid while they quarantine for 10 days.
A close contact is any individual who has spent more than 15 minutes with a confirmed COVID-19 case without maintaining a physical distance of 2 metres. The quarantine period is 10 days from the last meeting with the confirmed case.
The AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine has been granted Emergency Use Listing (EUL) by the World Health Organization (WHO) for active immunisation to prevent COVID-19 in individuals 18 years of age and older, including those over 65.
The authorisation of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca manufactured by AstraZeneca, and COVISHIELD manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII), enables global access to the vaccine during the pandemic.
The EUL allows for two doses of the vaccine to be administered at a four to 10-week interval. This regimen was shown in clinical trials to be safe and effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19, with no severe cases and no hospitalisations more than 14 days after the second dose.
The WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) recommended a dosing interval of eight to 12 weeks. In addition, they also recommended use of the vaccine in countries where new variants, including the South African B1.351 variant, are prevalent.
AstraZeneca and SII will now work with the COVAX Facility to begin supplying the vaccine around the world, with the majority going to low and middle-income countries as quickly as possible. In the first half of 2021, it is hoped that more than 300 million doses of the vaccine will be made available to 145 countries through COVAX, pending supply and operational challenges.
These doses will be allocated equitably according to the COVAX Allocation Framework.