According to official sources, India’s premier immunisation agency NTAGI has suggested giving the second dosage of COVID-19 vaccine Covishield between eight and 16 weeks following the first dose. Under the National COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy, the second dose of Covishield is being administered 12-16 weeks following the first dose.
The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) has not yet recommended any changes to the schedule for Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, whose second dosage is given 28 days following the first. The Covishield suggestion has yet to be adopted in the national COVID-19 immunisation programme.
“The latest recommendation of NTAGI is based on recent global scientific evidence derived from programmatic data. According to it, when the second dose of Covishield is given eight weeks onwards, the antibody response generated is almost similar when administered at an interval of 12 to 16 weeks,” said an official source.
According to the source, the decision would result in the rapid administration of the second dosage of Covishield to the remaining six to seven crore people due to an increase in instances in numerous nations. Based on NTAGI recommendations, the government increased the time between the first and second doses of the Covishield vaccination from 6-8 weeks to 12-16 weeks on May 13, 2021.
NTAGI advises and guides the Union Health Ministry on immunisation services in order to effectively manage vaccine-preventable illnesses in the country.