Waiting for second dose of vaccine

 

Sir, – We have been told from the very start of this pandemic that the main risk factor for serious illness or death is age. Why is it then that as a 68-year-old citizen that I am being offered less vaccine protection than my 71-year-old brother or my niece in her 40s?

Like others in my age group, I have had one dose of Astra Zeneca. Administration of second doses of this vaccine are now being gradually brought back from 12 to eight weeks. This will mean that if I am lucky I will have full vaccine cover by the end of July, or possibly into August (who knows whether Astra Zeneca supplies will arrive on time?). In the meantime, the Delta variant is likely to become established here, as it has in the UK and Northern Ireland. A single dose of Astra Zeneca only gives 33 per cent protection against the Delta variant, while the double dose only gives 60 per cent protection. A full two doses of Pfizer will give 88 per cent protection against this variant.

Why can the HSE not follow the clear advice of Luke O’Neill, Kingston Mills and others and offer us a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, as they are doing in Spain, Canada and other countries? This is likely to give a much higher level of protection then two doses of Astra Zeneca, and can be administered sooner. If offered this choice, I would be happy to sign a disclaimer if necessary.

I know that the vaccines available had to be used as they came in, and that there was no intention to put those in my age category at a disadvantage, but the fact remains that we are now in a difficult and potentially dangerous position with regards to this virus.

Please can we see the obvious remedy being applied. – Yours, etc,

ROSEMARY WARNER,

Bray,

Co Wicklow.