Don’t panic over Covishield dose interval, says Centre

The statement comes after media reports said several studies suggested the time gap between both the doses of Covishield should be shortened

Covishield
Representative photo

New Delhi: The Centre has assured that people should not panic about the need for an immediate change in the dosage interval of the Covishield vaccine.

Some recent media reports had quoted several studies that suggested the time gap between both the doses of Covishield should be shortened, keeping in view the variants in circulation.

Addressing a press conference on Friday, Dr V K Paul, member (Health) at NITI Aayog, said, “There is no need for any panic, suggesting the need for immediate switchover or change in the gap between the doses. All these decisions must be taken very carefully. We must remember that when we increased the gap, we had to consider the risk posed by the virus to those who have received only one dose. But the counterpoint was that more people will then be able to get the first dose, thereby giving a reasonable degree of immunity to more people.”

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“In our National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI), there are quite a few people who have been a part of WHO panels and committees and are globally renowned and recognized for their eminence. Moreover, NTAGI is regarded as a standard when it comes to global and national immunization programmes. So, please respect their decisions,” Dr Paul said.

Also read: Second wave on the wane, vaccination for kids this year: Expert

Welcoming a discourse on this topic in the public domain, Dr Paul said, “The decision has to be taken by appropriate fora comprising eminent people who are knowledgeable about this.”

Dr Paul said that the decision regarding dose interval would be examined by NTAGI ‘according to due process.’ He also said that the UK must have adopted due process and examined data scientifically to revise their previous decision regarding the gap. The UK had earlier kept the gap at 12 weeks. “But as per data available to us, we did not consider it safe at that point,” he said.

Also read: No Remdesivir at all: Centre revises COVID treatment guidelines for children

“So, let us entrust this to our scientific fora, they must be addressing it already. They will review it based on the pandemic situation in our country, depending on the extent of prevalence of the delta variant in our country and then take a comprehensive view. Whichever decision is taken by our scientific community, we will honour it,” Mr Paul said.

(Inputs from PTI)

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