Government extends gap between two doses of Covishield to 12-16 weeks


The Union Health Ministry announced on May 13, 2021, that the government has accepted the recommendation of the COVID-19 Working Group for extending the gap between two doses of Covishield COVID-19 vaccine to 12-16 weeks.

The Health Ministry further informed that based on the available real-life evidence, particularly in the United Kingdom, the COVID-19 Working Group agreed to increase the dosing interval to 12-16 weeks between the two doses of Covishield.

Key Highlights:

•  The Union Health Ministry while making the announcement added that no change has been suggested for the dosage interval for Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN.

•  The recommendation made by the COVID-19 Working Group was accepted by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) in the meeting held on May 12, 2021. NEGVAC is headed by Dr. VK Paul, Member (Health), Niti Aayog.

•  After the acceptance of the recommendation, the government announced extending the gaps between the first and second doses of Covishield to 12-16 weeks.

•  The present gap between the doses of the Covishield vaccine, which is manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, is 6-8 weeks.

Prior extensions of Covishield dosage intervals:

This will be the second time in three months that the intervals between the dosages of the Covishield vaccine have been widened. Earlier in March 2021, the state and UT governments were told to increase the gap between the dosages from 28 days to six to eight weeks for better results.

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