Changing the UK COVID-19 vaccine dosing schedule

On December 31, 2020 the four UK Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) published a statement announcing changes to the dosing schedule for the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech and University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines. It stated that the interval between the first and second dose should be extended from 3–4 weeks to up to 12 weeks. This rapid response examines the evidence behind this decision.

Changing the UK COVID-19 vaccine dosing schedule

The performance of COVID-19 vaccines in clinical trials and in real world conditions

COVID-19 vaccine roll-out started in the UK on 8 December 2020. Results from Phase 3 clinical trials have been published for all the vaccines approved for use in the UK. But how does the performance of vaccines under real world conditions differ from clinical trial results? When will we able to observe the impacts of the COVID-19 vaccination programme?

The performance of COVID-19 vaccines in clinical trials and in real world conditions
  • POSTnote

    Food and drink reformulation to reduce fat, sugar and salt

    What does it mean to reformulate food and drinks? How does it support healthier diets and lead to public health benefits? This POSTnote gives an overview of the most recent food and drink reformulation policies in the UK, the evidence on public health benefits and the effectiveness of different policies. It also explores challenges and opportunities for reformulation and describes some of the complementary approaches to improve public health.

  • Rapid response

    Mass testing for COVID-19: January update on lateral flow tests

    The Government’s COVID-19 Winter Plan, relies on three things to provide the UK with a “route back to normality”: vaccines, treatments and testing. In addition to laboratory-based tests, lateral flow tests are being used for rapid testing in communities and workplaces. What are the latest data on how good these tests are? What are the pros and cons of using them for mass testing?

  • Work programme

    Approved: Coastal management

    A POSTnote on coastal management will summarise emerging evidence and its implications for coastal flood risk management. It will review how sea level rise and climate change may impact storm patterns and how these impacts can be mitigated to protect coastal areas.

  • Work programme

    Approved: Net zero and decarbonising construction

    A POSTbrief on decarbonising construction will discuss opportunities for achieving net-zero in the built environment. It will look at options for reducing carbon emissions across the lifecycle of buildings and how this could inform sustainability targets and construction standards. It will provide an overview of innovations in low carbon building materials and the technologies that could be incorporated into buildings to reduce emissions.

  • Event report

    Event summary: Policy implications of cryosphere science for the 1.5°C target event.

    On 3 December, 2020 POST and the non-partisan International Cryosphere Climate Initiative (ICCI) hosted a closed briefing as one of a series of “Cryosphere 1.5°C Briefings”. These are the notes from the briefing. As this was a closed event for Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff, questions and comments during the different rounds of discussion have not been attributed.

  • Event listing

    Census 2021

    Join POST and experts from the Office for National Statistics in this closed briefing and discover everything you need to know about the 2021 census. What is the value of census data for parliamentary scrutiny? What research services does it enable? How are the needs of Parliament for social data evolving?

  • Rapid response

    Manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines

    The rapid production of safe, effective and consistent vaccines is essential for supporting COVID-19 immunisation programmes in the UK and globally. However, manufacturing vaccines is challenging for various reasons that include the complex processes involved, the specialist knowledge and experience required, and the natural variability of the biological materials and systems used. Urgent demand is leading to manufacturers and governments taking on significant financial risks in order to speed up production. What is the UK Government doing to accelerate vaccine manufacture? How are vaccines made? Why is manufacturing vaccines at large scales so challenging?

  • POSTnote

    Woodland creation

    Large-scale woodland creation is being promoted internationally to mitigate climate change. It can also supply other benefits, such as improving biodiversity, air and water quality. This POSTnote summarises key factors influencing how much carbon is taken up by woodland, the different objectives of woodland creation, constraints to increasing UK tree cover and different finance options.