States, UTs advised to ensure 2nd dose of Covishield within 12-16 weeks after 1st dose

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Imphal: Ministry of health and family welfare has instructed states and Union territories (UTs) to administer the 2nd dose of Covishield at 12-16 weeks interval after 1st dose instead of earlier interval of 6-8 weeks.

Covid-19 vaccination drive in India has completed 117 days during which we have been able to vaccinate 17.7 crore beneficiaries of which 3.9 crore beneficiaries have completed the two doses schedule of vaccination as per the recommended interval of four weeks for Covaxin and 6-8 weeks for Covishield. This has been possible due to the proactive involvement of all states and UTs, the ministry secretary Rajesh Bhushan in a letter written to the states and UTs.

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In view of the emerging scientific evidences, the interval between two doses of a specified Covid-19 vaccine i.e. Covishield, has been revisited by Covid Working Group of The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) and subsequently by National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC) in its meeting held on May 12. NEGVAC has recommended revision in schedule of Covishield to administer the 2nd dose at 12-16 weeks interval after 1st dose instead of earlier interval of 6-8 weeks, the secretary said.

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MoHFW has since accepted the recommendation of NTAGI and NEGVAC. Therefore, the states and UTs are advised to ensure 2nd dose of Covishield to beneficiaries within this stipulated time interval of 12-16 weeks after 1st dose.

Rajesh requested to instruct the concerned officials to undertake necessary steps to widely disseminate the message of revised dosing interval amongst programme managers, vaccinators and recipients of Covishield vaccine and ensure adherence of revised dosing interval. Requisite changes are being carried out in the Co-WIN platform and would be separately communicated to the states and UTs, he added.

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‘The decision of revised time interval between two doses is applicable only to Covishield and not to Covaxin vaccine’.

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