Govt. Increases Gap Between Two Doses Of COVISHIELD To 12-16 Weeks

by Shatakshi Gupta

Yesterday after much deliberations the Union government has taken a big decision regarding vaccination. Now it has been decided to increase the gap between 2 doses of COVISHIELD to 12 to 16 weeks. Currently, two doses of COVISHIELD are being administered in a gap of 6 to 8 weeks. The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI), which advises the government, had recommended increasing the gap between two doses of COVISHIELD. It was approved by the Ministry of Health on Thursday.

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However, the panel made it clear that no changes have been recommended in the case of COVAXIN. The panel has also suggested that people who have been recovered from corona should not undergo vaccination for 6 months. With this, the panel has recommended giving pregnant women a choice about the vaccine. At the same time, breastfeeding women can also get vaccinated. However, it will be implemented only after the approval of the government.

This was the second increment in the gap                             

 Earlier, the central government had extended the time between two doses of the COVISHIELD vaccine. Initially, there was a difference of 4 to 6 weeks (28 to 42 days) between the two doses of COVISHIELD. After the first increment, it was increased to 6 to 8 weeks (42 to 56 days). Now, this gap is further increased to 12-16 weeks( 84 to 112 days). The new rule only applied to the COVISHIELD vaccine.

The gap between two doses in the UK

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 The UK health regulator MHRA approved COVISHIELD, saying that the vaccine’s efficacy 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 in two doses. So that more and more people can come under the coverage of the vaccine.

Covaxin trial approved for children

 At the same time, another major step has been taken in wake of the upcoming third wave. On Thursday, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approved the trial of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin on 2 to 18 years old children.  Earlier, the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) also recommended its trial.

As per the present information, this trial will be done by Bharat Biotech on 525 volunteers. This will be Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the clinical trial of Covaxin being done on children aged 2 to 18 years. The first and second vaccine doses will be given at a difference of 28 days during the trial.