Centre Issues New Guidelines On COVISHIELD Vaccine; See What New Change Means?

by Shatakshi Gupta

The central government has now issued a new guideline regarding the COVISHIELD vaccine. As per thenew guidelines, the gap between the two shots of the COVISHIELD vaccine will be two weeks more than before.  Till now the difference between the two shots was 4 to 6 weeks.Now this difference will be 6 to 8 weeks. The new rule will only apply to the COVISHIELD vaccine. The new rule will not apply to Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN. 

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The Centre has informed the States and Union Territories about the new guideline. The decision was made on COVISHIELD at the 20th meeting of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) and the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC). Based on this, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote a letter to the Chief Secretaries of all the states and said that the Government of India has approved the recommendations of both the groups.


We should understand this with COVISHIELD testing the old formula of 0/28/42. The 0th day of the vaccine, the 28th day of the second dose of the vaccine and the 42nd day of the antibody test. This shows whether the vaccine in your body started working or not.  Now this formula will be 0/42/56. That is the 0th day of vaccine, the second dose of vaccine on day 42 and an antibody test on day 56.

 The Ministry of Health claims that according to the trials data, efficacy is increased if two doses of COVISHIELD are given by a difference of 6-8 weeks. But this difference should not be more than 8 weeks. So far, 4.50 crore doses have been given in India. Of these, 3.75 crore people have been given first dose. At the same time, the second dose has also been given to 75 lakh people.

What do experts say?

Experts say that antibodies start forming 7-10 days after the first dose of the vaccine.  Gradually, the level of these antibodies increases.

When the second dose is given, it acts as a booster.  Antibody levels increase 4 to 6 times. Trials took place in the UK and Brazil in the case of COVISHIELD and various results were found during this period. The difference between the two doses of the vaccine was fixed at 4 weeks.  But some were given a second dose with a difference of 6, 8 and 12 weeks. Thena second dose given after 4 weeks developed 53% of efficacy. At the same time, its efficacy was increased by75 to 80 per cent in 8 to 12 weeks.

The difference between the two doses of the vaccine has led to the conclusion that the greater the gap, the more effective the vaccine will be.  For this reason, the difference of two doses in vaccination in the UK was kept at 3 months. 

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Moreover, the New Testament has two advantages.There will be more time to deliver the second dose. The dose of the vaccine is currently limited.  More people must have taken at least one dose. With this, they would have got the protection of up to 50-55%.  Second, the effectiveness of COVISHIELD will increase.

The gap between 2 shots in the UK

The UK health regulator MHRA approved COVISHIELD, saying that the vaccine’s effectiveness was up to 80% if the difference between the two doses was three months. For this reason, it was decided that the difference of 12 weeks should be kept between two doses.