The Health Council maintains the position that the second dose of the BioNTech / Pfizer vaccine can be postponed until six weeks after the first, the advisory body reports Wednesday.

The government had asked the Health Council to reconsider the period between the two injections, after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) last week explicitly recommended that the second dose be administered after three weeks.

The government wants to extend the period between the two doses, so that more people can be vaccinated with the available vaccine.

If there is no shortage, it is better to give the second injection after three weeks, according to the Health Council.

Last week, regulator EMA took a stricter stance on the time that may elapse between doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

The updated version of the package leaflet has since recommended giving the second dose after three weeks.

But according to the Health Council, this revision of the EMA was not made on the basis of new research data: "The product information has only been changed to avoid ambiguity".

Furthermore, the council maintains the advice not to reserve vaccines already supplied for people who have received the first dose, but to use these vaccines directly in people who have not yet been vaccinated.

The Health Council and the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) stated in a previously published advisory report that they "can imagine that delaying the second vaccination by up to three weeks could be beneficial".

Then, for example, more people could receive a first dose of vaccine in the same time.

Expanding the term to six weeks would be justified, according to proponents, as participants in the clinical trial received their second dose 19 to 42 days after the first.

But the EMA states that 93.1 percent of subjects received the second shot 19 to 23 days after the first.

Only a small minority got the shot later.

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