Most of the media focus on vaccines has centred around the ‘jabbing’ of children in recent weeks, but official data suggests that it is adults the Government should be worrying about given that hundreds of thousands of them have failed to come forward for their second dose. The Guardian has the story.
Experts have repeatedly emphasised the need to receive both doses of the coronavirus vaccines as the second jab greatly increases protection against Covid.
But figures from Public Health England (PHE) suggest take-up of second doses is levelling off in older age groups, and is lower than for first jabs. The data, which extends to August 22nd, also shows take-up of first doses has essentially plateaued in almost all eligible age groups except the very youngest, and falls with age.
While nearly 21.4 million people aged 50 and over in England have had their first dose, just under 19.9 million have had their second – a difference of almost 1,500,000. That’s despite people aged 50-54 being invited for their first jab since March 17th, more than 23 weeks ago. In December, a 12-week gap between doses was recommended, which was cut to eight weeks for those aged 50 and over in May, a move later expanded to all eligible for the jabs.
Some over-50s may only recently have had their first jab and hence not yet be eligible for their second, but the appearance of reluctance to receive second doses is supported by other data.
According to figures from the U.K.’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, about 23.9 million second doses of the AstraZeneca jab had been given in the U.K. as of August 18th. This is far less than the 24.3 million first doses administered by May 26th – 12 weeks earlier – and the 24.5 million first doses given by June 23rd, eight weeks before. As noted by the Independent, this means between 400,000 and 600,000 Britons eligible for a second AstraZeneca jab have yet to come forward. …
Dr. Michael Head, a Senior Research Fellow in Global Health at the University of Southampton, [says] there were probably many reasons behind the figures. “This may include concerns over side-effects and also factors such as having been away on holiday over August or feeling that the second dose isn’t necessary,” he said.
Worth reading in full.