COVID-19 Vaccine Practices

I got an unexpected call offering me a jab in 2 hours time. Off I went.

The staff and doctor were lovely. But they made my 2nd jab booking for only 6 weeks hence. I queried the short time compared to the reports it should be 12 weeks. Their individual one-at-a-time and combined-when-all-were-together responses were it had to be at least 4 weeks but not more than 12 weeks between jabs. Worse, the receptionist counted weeks between that day and my next booking and declared it was 8 weeks, not 6.

Returning home I confirmed it was 6 weeks not 8 between jabs and jumping on the net I easily reaffirmed media reports and government agencies statements that AstraZeneca efficacy is better at longer intervals and 12 weeks is a sweet spot of sorts.

I sent a complaint to stating that ‘at least one clinic’ is not doing what I expected based on ‘your’ published advice, or ‘your’ messaging about the 2nd jab needs to be adjusted, if that is the case.

Everyone could be vaccinated best or worst practice, but if it is not done to best practice to what end excepting allowing a politician to grandstand? If everyone got vaccinated at 6 week intervals and it should be 12 for a much better outcome ‘herd’ protection would be significantly reduced as compared to if all the clinics were administering vaccines to best practice.


Not only was my second shot booked for 11 and weeks and 1 day after the first, but apparently the participating clinics in Qld are already holding the second shots so as to avoid any supply fiascos.

And as I am still here 2 weeks and 1 day after the first shot, it appears that I have survived.


The Government Health website states:

AstraZeneca doses can be given 4 – 12 weeks apart, but the Australian Technical Advisory Group in Immunisation recommend doses should be 12 weeks apart.

The 12 weeks is a recommendation and not mandatory. I recall reading somewhere 12 weeks allows more Australian’s to get their first dose (if the second dose was say 4 weeks, then there is in theory 8 weeks that the same dose could have been used to vaccinate others. There is evidence that there is slightly greater benefit the longer between doses up to a certain point.

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That is not according to recommendations as I understand them, it is only what was stated to me.

Yet if 12 weeks has benefits and even the COVID paperwork provided with the jab indicates 12 weeks to the 2nd, that to me suggests 12 weeks should be the standard. Efficacy and availability are both referenced in this Lancet paper.

The results of this primary analysis of two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 were consistent with those seen in the interim analysis of the trials and confirm that the vaccine is efficacious, with results varying by dose interval in exploratory analyses. A 3-month dose interval might have advantages over a programme with a short dose interval for roll-out of a pandemic vaccine to protect the largest number of individuals in the population as early as possible when supplies are scarce, while also improving protection after receiving a second dose.

and from WHO

The recommended dosage is two doses given intramuscularly (0.5ml each) with an interval of 8 to 12 weeks.* and *The AZD1222 vaccine against COVID-19 has an efficacy of 63.09% against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. Longer dose intervals within the 8 to 12 weeks range are associated with greater vaccine efficacy.

Although data is still being collected and advice might change, 12 weeks appears to be best practice and 6 weeks questionable.


I wouldn’t say questionable, possibly marginally lower efficacy.

The recommendations outlined in the previous post (both links) are Australian Government Health Department information…so this is the government’s official position.

Unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation available online in media and opinion posts which confuses the issue.

Maybe you should complain to government about ‘confusion’ as this is snipped from the handout given with jab #1 under the government logo



It does say about. Looking elsewhere about means 6-12+ weeks.

Semantically about is usually defined as ‘reasonably close to’ in this context. If you are happy to accept that 6 weeks is reasonably close to 12 weeks I’ll yield you the point for your own purposes, but I’ll be (re)arranging my second jab for about 12 weeks hence to conform to best practice.


Likewise, if the jab I get next week is the Astrazeneca one.


I booked in to my GP (Tweed Heads in NSW) for my 1b group jab a couple of weeks ago.

I was told that they were only expecting to receive their allocated doses in mid June.

My bookings were scheduled 12 weeks apart based on Dept of Health recommendations.


My repeat dose isn’t exactly 12 weeks either - my second appointment is 10 minutes later in the day than the first … I don’t think 12 weeks and 10 minutes is a big problem though - especially given it is plus or minus appointment variations anyway, which could be as much as 20-30 minutes … ahem :rofl:


We’re not until group 2, although if June is any guide for 1B, one of us might slip over the line. :wink:
Neither of our GPs have indicated what they are expecting. One has had a dedicated Covid Clinc and the other not. The former is only taking bookings for flu shots at present. Our mum’s aged care facility (privately owned and run) is still waiting for their first round!


There is nothing magical about the exact timing. Minutes, hours or even days make no difference!

My doctor tells me that the AstraZeneca vaccine gives best protection when the 2 recommended
doses are given 12 weeks apart, with a minimum interval of 4 weeks.
Best protection is 1-2 weeks after the second dose.


Please note the following is entirely my poor sense of humour

My Doctors says the best protection from the vaccine, like avoiding pregnancy in a relationship is abstinence :laughing: if you abstain from getting the shot you avoid the vaccine entirely… :rofl:

Now to serious and this is just my observations so not a reply to your post in any regard.

The risk from getting the vaccine is far far lower than the risks of getting the disease. I understand that some need to avoid the vaccine eg those who are immuno compromised. But the vast majority of people are not in any bracket where avoiding getting the jab is needful.

Mixed messages from Pollies has not helped the Country in the uptake of the vaccine, worse it has compromised our health security.

Herd immunity is the best hope for those who cannot tolerate the vaccine and the sooner we achieve that the better it is for all of us. There will be bad reactions for very few and that is heartbreaking but it is much more heartbreaking to see the suffering from the disease and the devastation it brings to our Society.


I have edited my confused and confusing post, thank you @grahroll! :laughing:

In my defence: it’s cold in St Kilda (about 10•C) and it’s raining cats and dogs, feeling miserable doesn’t help me. :laughing: :rofl: :rofl:


I agree with your above post re timelining the efficacy of the doses received. The period between the 2 at it’s best should be close to if not at 12 weeks, shorter periods allowed but not necessarily the best/optimal protection is gained.

The rollout has been abysmal, currently the Federal Govt have been provided about 4.1 million doses and close to 1.58 million doses have been given, this leaves a stockpile of about 2.6 million doses of vaccine that hasn’t hit our shoulders. What are and who are they storing it for? Are they anticipating that COVID-19 might break out and they will have to vaccinate us against COVID-19…ohhhh yeah it’s already here…stupid me they must have forgotten about that.

My father had a saying about money in a hand and a brothel, something about couldn’t organise…reminds me of this debacle and the ever changing goal line.


Nearly all Astra Zeneca which only started rolling out from the last week of March!

The original orders of Pfizer (20 million total) were more than adequate to cover all of 1A and 1B which required up to 16.2 million doses.

2A (over 50 - 70 years) required a further up to 15.8 million doses.

There’s little transparency as to the actual deliveries the suppliers of the Pfizer vaccine offered, vs what has been said/promised politically.

Just as well we have the local supply of Astra Zeneca. That’s not intended sarcasm. We might need to insist every one gets the Astra Zeneca as it is the only option. Although the suggestion is that once the USA is fully vaccinated Pfizer might become available.

I know two close family older Aussies who are holding off or saying no because they have lost trust in the system. The only family member who has been able to be vaccinated works as a medical professional.

We are a long way from completing 1B on the above data. Should the priority still be to vaccinate all the front line and high risk workers ASAP. They were selected next most at risk of contact with the virus after 1A. Until that sector is substantially complete the community benefits may be minimal.


There is a category of human where no words are adequate. Life in prison should be the most lenient punishment possible.


The surgery where I had my #1 dose has booked me in at exactly 12 weeks, to the hour. They would not countenance an earlier time at all. Has to be exactly 12 weeks for best protection they say.