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RCS England statement on JCVI policy to delay second dose of COVID vaccines

13 Jan 2021

We sympathise with aggrieved staff who have had a first dose of the vaccine already, and were told at the time they would get their second dose three weeks later. It is understandable that working on the frontline, they may feel less well protected because of the delay to their second dose. But looking at the steep rises in COVID cases and in hospitalisations, the decision to push back those second doses, in order to be able to give more people a first dose, is a pragmatic strategy for saving as many lives as possible. 

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has stated that giving priority to the delivery of the first dose is “highly likely” to have a greater public health impact in the short term, and could reduce the number of preventable deaths from COVID-19 in the longer term. We trust the JCVI’s expertise in vaccination evaluation and assessment, which can be read here, and support the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges’ statement.

Notes to editors

1. The Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS Eng) is a professional membership organisation and registered charity, which exists to advance surgical standards and improve patient care.  For more information or interviews, please contact the press office: email:; Tel: 0207 869 6047.

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