Days after the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) advised shortening the interval between two Covishield shots, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya addressed the Lok Sabha that the government will heed expert scientific advice on the subject.
Last week, NTAGI advised the government to shorten the time between the administration of the two doses of Covishield, recommending that the second injection be administered between eight and sixteen weeks following the first.
The current procedure calls for the second dosage to be given 12 to 16 weeks following the first.
A modification in dosage for Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin has not been proposed.
The two Covaxin dosages are separated by 28 days.
At the LS question hour today, Mandaviya said in response to supplementary questions: “We have followed science and expert advice during the COVID immunisation programme and will follow expert advice in the future.”
According to the most recent studies, the second dosage of Covishield provided eight weeks after the first induces a similar antibody response as when administered after a delay of 12 to 16 weeks.
The final decision on closing the gap rests with the Ministry of Health.