22 Mar 2021: 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.
Details: 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.
Statement: 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.
Studies: 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.
Other details: 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.