Increase Gap Between Two Doses Of Covishield Vaccine: Centre
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Based on experts' recommendations, the Indian government has written to states and Union Territories to increase the gap between two doses of Serum Institute of India's locally made Oxford Covid-19 vaccine 'Covishield' from earlier 4-6 weeks to 4-8 weeks now.

"In view of emerging scientific evidence, the interval between two doses of a specific COVID-19 vaccine i.e. COVISHIELD, has been revisited by National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization and subsequently by National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19," the government stated.

"This decision of the revised time interval between two doses is applicable only to COVISHIELD and not to COVAXIN Vaccine," the government stressed. The letter also stated that scientific evidence suggests that protection is enhanced if the 2nd dose of COVISHIELD is administered between 6-8 weeks, but not later than the stipulated period of 8 weeks.

The Union Health Secretary has urged the States and UTs to instruct the concerned officials accordingly to undertake necessary steps to widely disseminate the message of revised dosing interval amongst programme managers, vaccinators, and recipients of COVISHIELD vaccine and ensure adherence to the revised dosing interval.

At the beginning of this year, the drug controller of India had given emergency use authorization to two Covid-19 vaccine candidates –Serum's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's indigenously manufactured Covaxin – ahead of the mega vaccination drive that kickstarted on 16 January 2021. The total vaccination coverage in India has crossed the 4.5-crore mark till date.

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