A Karnataka government scientific advisory group on the Covid-19 pandemic has advised the state to write to the Centre seeking that the interval between doses of the Covishield vaccine be reduced from 84 days to about a month, as it was when the vaccine was initially administered in January this year.
The committee has attempted to reduce the duration of doses in order to widen vaccination coverage in anticipation for a possible third wave triggered by any variations of the virus.
“We had a meeting on Sunday and we told the government to write to the Centre to reduce the gap between the first and second dose of Covishield. It is primarily because the vaccine supplies are good now and we have to keep in mind a possible third wave if a new variant emerges. It is safer to have good vaccine coverage in preparation for such a situation,” said Dr MK Sudarshan, a retired professor of community medicine and chairman of the technical advisory committee.
“Earlier the gap between doses was only one month and some groups of people like students who had to travel abroad were also vaccinated with Covishield with an interval of one month,” he said.
According to nephrologist Dr Sudarshan Ballal, a member of the Covid-19 expert committee in Karnataka, the committee has noted that an interval of four weeks was “good enough for immunity to develop” among Covishield beneficiaries. “With the government aiming to vaccinate the maximum population with both the doses, it seems imperative to accelerate the pace of vaccinations. Vaccination is the key to keep the spread of Covid-19 in check as well,” he said.