Q We would like to ask you, what your feelings about the now extended 12 week period between vaccinations. There seems to be conflicting opinions about whether that is absolutely fine and effective, we would like to know what you think about this? Raj Bhopal: I think we should follow the science – No science on the 12 weeks, absolutely none. It is a political decision and it is a difficult decision. I am going to look at things purely from a medical scientist, so what I am going to say is not necessarily the truth or the best thing to do, but all I can do is say, well I have studied the evidence on vaccines and I have not seen any evidence on vaccines whatsoever about waiting 12 weeks. There is no evidence. My own view is that we should follow the dosage intervals as provided in the randomised controlled trials which we have been done at huge cost. That’s the evidence and we should follow it. When we go beyond the evidence, we take a risk. This is very little evidence in the effectiveness of these vaccines in people over 80, but we have taken a risk of giving it to people over 80 in the first instance because of their very high death rates. If it wasn’t for that, we would have definitely have given it to the people that it was tested on, i.e. people between 18-70 really mostly. I am not going to contradict the Politicians, very difficult decisions, policy makers, like the Chief Medical Officers, they’ve made some very difficult decisions, all I am telling you is, there is no evidence for them.
I wasn't sure where to insert my comment on this one. There is no perfect answer - we either spread the vaccine thinly by enabling more people to benefit, or we choose who should benefit first. I would prefer the scientific evidence to be upheld, that is EVIDENCE. 12 weeks is too long and not proven. Political waves of reasoning for lock-downs etc haven't always been rational. Also the news re supplies of vaccine may impact on whether we are able to safely receive supplies.
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