Covishield dose gap to be increased to 6-8 weeks: Centre
The time gap between two doses of the Covishield vaccine should be increased to six-to-eight weeks for improved results, the central government has written to all states and Union Territories. The currently recommended interval between two doses of this COVID-19 vaccine is 28 days or between four and eight weeks. Here are more details on this.
Revised interval applies only to Covishield and not COVAXIN
The revised interval applies only to the Serum Institute of India-manufactured Covishield and not to Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN, the Centre said in its letter today. The COVID-19 vaccination drive in India is presently in its second phase, as part of which citizens aged above 60 years and those between 45 and 59 but with co-morbidities are being inoculated.
This is what the Centre said in its letter
"In view of the emerging scientific evidence, the interval between two doses of a specific COVID-19 vaccine, Covishield, has been revisited by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) and subsequently by National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19," the Centre's letter read. It appeared that protection is enhanced if the interval between the doses is increased, the letter added.
Global studies suggest increasing gap between doses
Several studies from around the world have suggested that the gap between two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine should be increased. In fact, on February 19, The Lancet had published the results of a study that showed that the Covishield vaccine may have a higher efficacy when administered with a three-month interval as compared to a six-week interval.
India reports over 1.16 crore coronavirus cases
More than 4.50 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered to eligible citizens across the country so far. However, India has been witnessing a worrying spike in daily new COVID-19 cases. The country reported 46,951 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, a four-month high, taking the nationwide tally to over 1.16 crore, according to the data released by the Union Health Ministry.