This means that the strategy of dosing more people, more rapidly, with the first dose, is likely a good one on multiple levels:
The paper also suggests that delaying the second dose to 12 weeks after the first works especially well. The protective effect of the first dose doesn’t appear to wane during these 12 weeks, and leaving a longer gap between doses ultimately seems to make the second more protective.
This new analysis shows that vaccine efficacy after the second dose was only 55 percent if the gap between doses was less than six weeks, but was 81 percent if the gap was 12 weeks or more. Although not directly presented in the paper, it appears that with a 12-week gap between doses there was very little difference in efficacy for those receiving an initial half or full dose..
Source: Delaying The Second AstraZeneca Dose Actually Increases Protection, New Data Suggests
Am also reading that the news headlines saying the AZ vaccine doesn’t work against the “South Africa” variant are false. “Experts” say the study lacked sufficient sample size to draw any conclusions – and the media was therefore jumping to the most negative interpretation.
Good news continues to be in a “surge upon surge” phase, and growing exponentially and increasingly looks to be the “new normal”.