Second Dose of Covishield After Eight Weeks of First

The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) has recommended administration of the second dose of Covishield from 8 to 16 weeks after the 1st dose. Currently, the second dose is being given after 12 to 16 weeks of administration of the 1st dose. As per a senior health official, this decision will reduce the time span between the two doses, which would lead to accelerated administration of the second shot of Covishield to the remaining six or seven crore individuals. The official said, “the latest recommendation of the NTAGI is based on recent global scientific evidence derived from programmatic data. Also 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. It is pertinent to mention here that this is a recommendation by NTAGI and the final decision has to be taken by the government. On 13 May 2021, the Union government had extended the gap between the first and second doses of the Covishield vaccine from 6 to 8 weeks to 12 to 16 weeks, based on the recommendations by NTAGI. There is no change suggested with regards to schedule of administration of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, whose second dose is administered 28 days after the first dose.

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