2nd Jab - invitation after only 7 weeks gap

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An interesting development following on from the now archived

Today, received invite from GP Surgery (via Bury NHS CCG) to book 2nd dose. We'd already booked this speculatively (expecting to be rejected) for Thursday (8th), so we took the opportunity to book (again for this Thursday) at a slightly closer clinic and then cancelled our original speculative jabs.

Seems like we've gone from a speculative 7 week gap to an officially endorsed 7 week gap. I do wonder how this has become available as it's significantly less than 12 weeks, and what the implications are for those still waiting for 1st jabs (beyond the obvious delays), and if there are any new policy decisions behind this that we've not heard about.

[Info: Pfizer, both in 60-64 range, both "carers" which bumped us up 1 age range for 1st jab]

 marsbar 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

It could be that they've invited you because they know they have Pfizer available on that date.  

Asked about my Dad's second appointment when I went today for my first and they said they will call him next time they get Pfizer.  Currently using AZ.  

 wercat 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

I'm still trying to book locally.  I've been trying for more than 2 weeks and although there is a "Mass Vaccination Centre" in Penrith (a 20 minute bike ride away) the nearest I am being offered is at least 45 minutes drive away.  As I don't have exclusive access to a car this is a problem.

It is weird that both the website and 119 (which despite offering to sort out booking problems just uses the same website as if implying I can't navigate it amd gives precisely the same result) expressly forbid me from contacting any local NHS services to obtain vaccination.

is this because they want no credit for jabs to be attributable to anything but the govt Mass programme?  Perhaps I need to become a catholic to be admitted to a Mass centre?

It is very perplexing.  (I will be 65 by the time my 12 weeks expires in late Theresa)


Post edited at 15:47
 neilh 06 Apr 2021
In reply to wercat:

I would take a risk and just turn up in the afternoon at Penrith and hope there is a no show.....its worth a shot so to speak.

 wercat 06 Apr 2021
In reply to neilh:

that is my reserve plan and it looks more and more like becoming a reality.

 neilh 06 Apr 2021
In reply to wercat:

I would just get on with it.

In reply to wercat:

> that is my reserve plan and it looks more and more like becoming a reality.

My mother had the same problem. She booked one miles away that was the reserve plan, then broke the rules contacting locally and got jabbed locally. She doesn't drive, so some centre in an industrial estate 30miles away was never going to work. 

Post edited at 16:06
 wercat 06 Apr 2021
In reply to summo:

I just tried calling the GPs locally - the answering service says they are apparently so inundated with calls that we are invited to call back another day

I think there is vaccination going on at the local community hospital so that's another to try

not worrying unduly at the moment but it's annoying

ironically I was offered one in Barnard Castle too on one attempt!

Post edited at 16:12
 neilh 06 Apr 2021
In reply to wercat:

Forget the GP...its not something they are really in charge of...and they all specifically ask you not to contact them.

 wercat 06 Apr 2021
In reply to neilh:

no, it's the central organisation that is forbidding contact - both the website and 119.  I wanted and still want to obtain advice from a local source as the central system is not performing.

 marsbar 06 Apr 2021
In reply to wercat:

Penrith are vaccinating vulnerable people 18+ not age groups at the moment. 

Assuming you are trying to get your first jab?  As you are in an age group that should have already been vaccinated then you SHOULD call your GP.  They may well be able to get you in nearer to home.  

 john arran 06 Apr 2021
 marsbar 06 Apr 2021
In reply to neilh:

I'd agree for anyone under 50 or 50+ who isn't having trouble booking, but in this specific case I don't.  

 wercat 06 Apr 2021
In reply to marsbar:

thanks - had jab1, just trying to book no 2 a bit closer to home, not due till the end of May so no panic ...... yet.  I don't suppose any immunity falls over a cliff at 12 weeks.

In reply to john arran:

I think that article's in the right area, something like the following scenario would explain shorter gaps:

  • For 1st jabs, IIRC, Pfizer was ramped up before AZ.
  • Having vaccinated x people with Pfizer, another x doses are effectively reserved for 2nd jabs for those people. Similarly having vaccinated y people with AZ, another y doses are effectively reserved for 2nd jabs for those people.
  • What if not many other doses (beyond the "reserved" x & y) are yet available; don't want to have the vaccination clinics being idle whilst there are doses actually available.
  • So start reducing the gap for those waiting for 2nd jab to use up the (actually available) "reserved" doses to ensure that the clinics carry on doing as many vaccinations as supplies will allow.
  • Also means that 2nd doses will be less in the way of further 1st doses (i.e. avoid clinic capacity being a limiting factor) if supplies build up again in the future (although it looks like being less rather than more).

The more I typed, the more I realised it was getting closer and closer to that article 😁

Post edited at 20:25
 elsewhere 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

Moderna vaccination starts next week*. This might make up most of the first doses for the next 6-12 weeks. Hopefully a large & consistent supply.

*this week, next week or the week after. It's slipping a bit.

Janssen (aka Johnson & Johnson) - close to being approved?

Valneva - phase 1/2 trials completed, phase 3 not started?

Post edited at 21:00
 Wingnut 07 Apr 2021
In reply to elsewhere:

>>this week, next week or the week after. It's slipping a bit.

Already started, in Wales at least:

 elsewhere 07 Apr 2021
In reply to Wingnut:

> >>this week, next week or the week after. It's slipping a bit.

> Already started, in Wales at least:

That could be excellent news, keep an eye on daily first* vaccinations to see if there is enough supply to make a difference.

*peaked at 750,000 per day but currently 40,000 per day as most Pfizer & AZ used for 2nd doses

 marsbar 07 Apr 2021
In reply to wercat:

In that case, please don't panic. It will be sorted nearer the time.  End of May is ages.  

The smaller venues with local booking certainly aren't booking 2nd jabs that far in advance.  Only the big centres are using the system that lets you book a second jab.  

Dad is currently 9 weeks since first jab, they will ring him for the second one when they are ready, because he went local instead of the big centres.  

 petemeads 07 Apr 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

I got the call from my surgery today - booked in for 2nd Pfizer tomorrow, 8th April, 65 days after my first so just over 9 weeks. Slightly apprehensive as the first jab had no effect other than help me run faster and further, second one is potentially more bothersome I believe...

Good luck with yours!

In reply to petemeads:

Had 2nd jab just over an hour ago, if it follows same pattern as 1st then run tomorrow should be ok, but I think the street orienteering event I'm doing next Tuesday evening might get interesting.

Meanwhile if you react the same then you should be supersonic in a couple of days 😁

To all: a word of advice, best not to book the last slots in the day. When they ask when you had first jab so they can order you by longest gap, and then the senior nurse comes out and counts the number left in the queue "we'll be alright if nobody wastes one", it's because they've basically run out for the day. Thought we were on a wasted journey for a few minutes. Don't think they had any spares.

 aksys 08 Apr 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

Got an unexpected text from my GP this afternoon and had my 2nd Pfizer jab a couple of hours later. My first jab was on 16 Feb, about the 16 millionth given, so to have been bumped up to about the 6 millionth 2nd jab was very surprising. The NHS works in mysterious ways!

In reply to aksys:

I think it's a bit of a postcode lottery, in that it very much depends on the supplies and stock in each area, the age demographic and the %age take-up as we go down the age demographic. All leading to some significant "gap" differences across the country.

It would be interesting to know whether there actually is an optimal gap between the 2 jabs. Meanwhile in the USA, my bro-in-law got the J&J 1 jab vaccine and I believe various attempts are being made to produce an orally taken vaccine.

Getting a vaccine as a pill would be quite a game-changer (remote area, no problem vaccine's in the post), and the technology would no doubt be adapted to all sorts of vaccines and maybe other treatments.

Post edited at 22:16
 aksys 08 Apr 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

I guess just like major wars can result in leaps in military technology, with hopefully useful peacetime spin-offs e.g. jet engines, the pandemic might result in rapid advances in medicine  and medical technology of the sort you suggest. Unfortunately, for all our advances, we still have wars and we will probably still have another pandemic sometime in the future.

 petemeads 09 Apr 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:


Had my jab at lunchtime, arm hurting in the evening worse than last time (I asked her to use the same hole but she didn't..) and slept fitfully feeling a bit washed out. Just walked 2k to the shops very slowly, limping very badly (ran hard downhill a week ago, it tends to upset my right leg but was necessary to get 12k in 60 mins for a virtual race. It was OK for 5k yesterday) and when I got home my Garmin reported that I am Peaking!

Why do I feel like death warmed up, then?

In reply to petemeads:

My run today was shall we say, less than satisfactory, doesn't bode well for next week.

But who knows, one thing that's become obvious (from loads of anecdotal stuff) is that there's no standard reaction to either AZ or Pfizer, and that reaction to 1st jab gives no real indication for reaction to 2nd jab.

Give it a week or two then should be back to normal performance levels.

 petemeads 09 Apr 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

Good news - arm already better, 5k walk with son in 49 mins with no limp - courtesy of a couple of ibuprofen with breakfast. Let's see how (not)parkrun goes tomorrow but I suspect this was a very temporary setback. No other adverse symptoms that I could blame on the jab.

Back to the wall on Monday!

 Becky E 09 Apr 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

Particularly when we've got a batch of Pfizer, we absolutley need to use every single dose within 5 days.

We got a bit ahead on 2nd doses of Pfizer, for various reasons:

- initially only using 5 doses per vial - this was increased to 6 doses, so when the "2nd dose" batches came, we could get ahead.

- some people can't have their 2nd dose e.g. unwell, now housebound, RIP, moved house, etc - so that creates more spare doses.

So the end result is that some people will be invited for their 2nd dose sooner than expected.  It isn't an "officially endorsed 7 week gap" - it's just a pragmatic way to use up doses.

Last weekend at the clinic where I was vaccinating we phoned the police to see who could come, and also contacted local schools to give teachers aged >40 their 1st dose, as a way to use up the spare doses.

This isn't an issue for AZ vaccine, because you can just leave the unused vial in the fridge ready for the next clinic.

In reply to Michael Hood:

I had my second jab on Thursday evening - 11 weeks after my first. I had no side affects or illness from the first jab but I currently feel like I've done 12 rounds with mike Tyson. That being said I am happy to have had both jabs now. I had the Pfizer jab.

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