Vaccination of European countries with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19 must be flexible between the first and second doses, said Hans Klugge, director of the European branch of the World Health Organization.
Hans Klüge explained that it is important to strike a balance between making the most of limited vaccine supplies and protecting as many people as possible.
“It is important that such a decision represents a safe compromise between the limited capacity for global protection at the moment and the need for governments to protect as many people as possible while reducing the burden of any subsequent wave of the health system epidemic.” said Hans Klüge.
His remarks coincide with discussions in many countries, including the United Kingdom, to address low-dose vaccines by extending the time between the first and second doses of the vaccine by up to 12 weeks and for the possibility of reducing the volume of certain doses.
These proposals have provoked fierce controversy among experts. Pfizer and BioNTech have warned that there is no evidence that their vaccine will continue to be effective if the second dose is given more than 21 days after the first dose.
The European Union gave urgent approval for the distribution of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine two weeks ago and hundreds of thousands of Europeans have received the first dose since vaccination started a week ago.
In Britain, which approved the vaccine in December, more than one million doses of the vaccine have been given over the course of a month.
The European Union has secured 200 million doses of the vaccine, with an option for another 100 million. It is in talks to order 50 to 100 million additional installments.