COVID vaccination: Interval between Covishield doses revised

Bhubaneswar: In ongoing vaccination drive against COVID-19, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has revised interval between doses of Covishield vaccine in the country.

In this regard, State Health & Family Welfare Department, Odisha, has written to all the collectors, municipal commissioners, CDMOs and PHOs asking them to inform all the Programme Managers, Vaccination Team and recipients of Covishield about the revised dosing interval of the vaccine.

The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAG) and National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) have recommended the revised schedule to provide 2nd dose of Covishield vaccine at 4-8 weeks interval after 1st dose instead of earlier practiced interval of 4-6 weeks based on emerging scientific evidence.

“Based on the recommendations of NTAG and NEGVAC, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has advised to ensure 2nd dose of Covishield vaccination to beneficiaries within stipulated time interval of 4-8 weeks after 1st dose. The Ministry has also communicated that protection is enhanced if the second dose Covishield is administered between 6-8 weeks, but not later than stipulated period of 8 weeks,” said Odisha Additional Chief Secretary Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra.

He made it clear that the revised time interval between two doses is applicable only to Covishield and not to Covaxin vaccine.

The State H&FW Department also informed that CoWIN will not automatically schedule appointments for 2nd dose. The revised interval between doses of Covishield has to be informed to the beneficiary, who will decide date of 2nd visit within the stipulated time frame.

Currently, India has approved two vaccines — Serum Institute of India’s Covishield developed by AstraZeneca in collaboration with the University of Oxford and country’s first indigenous Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR — for vaccination against COVID-19.

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