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The British Medical Association over the weekend urged England’s chief medical officer to "urgently review the U.K.’s current position of second doses after 12 weeks," as the Pfizer-BioNTech has said the second dose of its jab should be received after 21 days.
In a statement, the association said there was "growing concern from the medical profession regarding the delay of the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as Britain's strategy has become increasingly isolated from many other countries."
"No other nation has adopted the U.K.‘s approach," Dr. Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of the BMA council, told the BBC, per the Associated Press.
The U.K. adopted the policy in an effort to speed vaccination efforts, a process that is dragging in the U.S.
The country’s rationale behind the 12-week policy, in part, is to give as many people as possible the first dose of vaccine.
Current estimates show that nearly 6 million people in the country have received a shot of either a vaccine made by Pfizer-BioNTech or one developed by U.K.-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca and Oxford University.
While AstraZeneca has said it believes a first dose of its vaccine offers protection after 12 weeks, Pfizer has warned it has not tested the efficacy of its jab after such a long gap.
Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England, defended the decision as "a reasonable scientific balance on the basis of both supply and also protecting the most people."
The news comes as the country has identified a mutated strain of the coronavirus, known as B.1.1.7.
Recently, government medical advisers said there was evidence that the new variant carries a greater risk of death than the original strain.
Researchers knew the strain was more transmissible, but up until now did not think it caused more severe illness or a greater risk of death.
Overall, Britain has recorded 97,329 deaths among people who tested positive, the highest confirmed virus toll in Europe and the fifth-highest in the world.
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