- Several states, UTs have decided to opt for global tenders to get vaccines
- The domestic vaccine supply falling short to meet the rising demand
- No change in interval of Covaxin vaccine doses was recommended: Centre
New Delhi: The Centre on Thursday (May 13) approved extending the gap between the two doses of the Covishield vaccine from 6-8 weeks to 12-16 weeks following a recommendation from a government panel, the Union health ministry said. However, the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) has suggested no change for the dosage interval for Covaxin, the ministry said. “Based on the available real-life evidences, particularly from the UK, the COVID-19 Working Group agreed for increasing the dosing interval to 12-16 weeks between two doses of Covishield vaccine. No change in interval of Covaxin vaccine doses was recommended,” the ministry said.
The present gap between two doses of Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, is 6-8 weeks. The Central government’s move comes amid several states reporting shortage of vaccines. Several states and UTs including Delhi, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana have decided to opt for global tenders for procurement of anti-coronavirus shots with the domestic supply falling short to meet the rising demand.
This is the second time in the past few months that the interval between the two doses of Covishield has been increased. In March, the Union health ministry had asked states and UTs to increase the gap from 28 days to 6-8 weeks.
The recommendation of the COVID-19 Working Group was accepted by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC), headed by Dr V K Paul, Member (Health), Niti Aayog, in its meeting on May 12, 2021, the ministry said.
The COVID-19 Working Group is chaired by Dr N K Arora, who is director at the INCLEN Trust. Its members include Dr Rakesh Agarwal, Director and Dean, GIPMER, Puducherry; Dr Gagandeep Kang, professor, Christian Medical College, Vellore; Dr Naveen Khanna, Group Leader, International Centre For Genetic Engineering And Biotechnology (ICGEB), JNU, New Delhi; Dr Amulya Panda, Director, National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi; and Dr V G Somani, Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.[corona_data_new]