Centre directs States, UTs to increase gap between Covishield Vaccine doses to 6-8 weeks

Keeping in view the scientific evidence that has emerged regarding the interval between two doses of a specific COVID-19 vaccine, Covishield, the Centre has directed all the States and Union Territories to increase the dosing interval from 28 days to six-to-eight weeks for better results.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has earlier recommended that two doses of vaccine are needed to be taken 28 days apart to complete the immunisation schedule. The “protective levels of antibodies” were generally developed two weeks after receiving the second dose.

However, on the recommendation of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) and subsequently by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19, it appeared that “protection was enhanced if the second dose of Covishield was administered between six and eight weeks but not later than that.

In a letter written by the Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan to the Chief Secretaries of States/UTs on Tuesday, he mentioned that the recommendations of NTAGI and NEGVAC have been accepted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and has thereafter advised the States and UTs to ensure the administration of second dose of COVISHIELD to beneficiaries within this stipulated time interval of 4-8 weeks after the first dose.

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