KATHMANDU, MARCH 22
Amid a spike in daily new cases of Covid-19 ,the Indian government on Monday has asked its states and Union Territories to increase the gap between two doses of Covishield to 6-8 weeks.
Earlier, the interval between two doses of Covishield was '4-6 weeks. Covishield is Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine that is being manufactured locally by the Serum Institute of India. However, the revised interval is not applicable to Covaxin, developed by Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research.
Indian Union ministry of health and family welfare in a statement issued the advisory to maintain the aforementioned gap instead of 28 days interval as prescribed earlier.
"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 Indian government stated.
The decision was taken based on the recommendation of National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) and National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC).
Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan urged everyone concerned 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 for maximum efficacy.
Government of India has also stressed that this new interval will lead to increased protection from the virus.