They advised that the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine may be given between three to 12 weeks following the first dose and that the second dose of the AstraZeneca (Oxford) vaccine may be given between four to 12 weeks following the first dose.
The clinical risk priority order for the deployment of the vaccines remains unchanged and applies to both vaccines.
The British Medical Association, however, said the extension to 12 weeks was “difficult to justify” and should be changed to six weeks.
The doctors’ union said the UK’s strategy “has become increasingly isolated internationally” and in a letter to Professor Whitty urged the gap to be altered.
BMA council chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: “What we’re saying is that the UK should adopt this best practice based on international professional opinion.”