Vaccine gap: India re-thinks after UK releases fresh data
New Delhi, June 16: With more evidence pouring in suggesting that the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is crucial for adequate protection from the infection and hospitalisation, the government experts are considering reducing the gap between the two doses of Covishield.
On May 13, the government had increased the gap of the second dose from six to 12 weeks for people who get the Covishield vaccine while citing better efficacy data from the UK, However days later UK itself reduced the gap to 8 weeks from 12 for people over the age of 50. UK cited the more serious threat from the Delta variant which has become a predominant strain in the UK.
On Monday, the data released by the UK showed that protection from hospitalisation was 92 per cent for people had both doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine. Those who had one dose showed much lower efficacy against hospitalisation at 71 per cent. The country also reduced the gap between the doses for those over the age of 40/
"The 8 weeks gap is being considered in the technical groups. Once they come to a view, the matter will come to NEGVAC (the national expert group on vaccine administration for Covid-19) ," an Indian government official familiar with the development cited by the Hindustan Times said.