COVID-19: Indian medical body recommends 12-16 week gap between Covishield doses, no change for Covaxin

COVID-19: Indian medical body recommends 12-16 week gap between Covishield doses, no change for Covaxin

The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation in India (NTAGI) has recommended increasing the gap between two doses of Covishield vaccine to 12-16 weeks.

No change has been suggested for the dosage interval of Covaxin by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI).

The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation in India (NTAGI) fulfils a need for informing decision-making concerning the introduction of new vaccines and strengthening the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP). 

According to the current protocol, the vaccine must be taken four to eight weeks after recovery from COVID-19 infection.

This is the second increase in the interval for Covishield in three months. 

In March, the Centre told states and UTs to increase the gap from 28 days to six to eight weeks for better results. 

These recommendations will be sent to NEGVA – the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration – for approval before the changes and suggestions are implemented.

Earlier, a study published in the medical journal The Lancet on February 19 claimed a 26.2 per cent increase – from 55.1 per cent to 81.3 per cent – if doses were spaced 12 or more weeks apart.

NTAGI comprises government representatives from the Department of Women and Child Development, internal finance division in Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Department of Biotechnology, Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) along health experts. India started the world`s largest vaccination drive on January 16 this year in a phased manner with healthcare workers (HCWs) getting inoculated first. 

The vaccination of frontline workers (FLWs) started on February 2. The next phase of Covid-19 vaccination commenced from March 1 for those over 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions. India launched vaccination for all people aged more than 45 from April 1.

(With inputs from agencies)

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