Second vaccine dose can be delayed, research says - Italy's AIFA head to paper

Italy would start administering a second dose to those vaccinated with Pfizer and Moderna after 42 days

  
A healthcare worker administers an injection at the Santa Chiara hospital as doctors begin testing phase 2 and 3 of Italy's ReiThera coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine on patients after initial positive test results, in Pisa, Italy, April 1, 2021. Image used for illustrative purpose

A healthcare worker administers an injection at the Santa Chiara hospital as doctors begin testing phase 2 and 3 of Italy's ReiThera coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine on patients after initial positive test results, in Pisa, Italy, April 1, 2021. Image used for illustrative purpose

REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

MILAN - There is research to support a possible delay in the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and should be considered as a way to protect as many people as possible, the head of Italy's national medicines agency AIFA was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

"Theoretically, it would be better to respect the time interval between the two doses. But we have to take action," Giorgio Palu told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. "There is a vaccine shortage and we need to protect as many citizens as possible."

Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on Monday that Italy would start administering a second dose to those vaccinated with Pfizer and Moderna after 42 days rather than 21/28 days following an approval by AIFA.

(Reporting by Cristina Carlevaro, editing by Agnieszka Flak) ((cristina.carlevaro@thomsonreuters.com; +39 06 80307729;))

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