As per government sources close to PTI, India’s leading immunisation organisation NTAGI has suggested providing the second dosage of COVID-19 vaccine Covishield between eight and 16 weeks after the first dose. The second dose of Covishield is provided 12-16 weeks after the first dose under the National COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy.
The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) has not yet recommended any changes to the schedule for Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, whose second dosage is given 28 days following the first. The Covishield suggestion has yet to be adopted in the national COVID-19 immunisation programme.
According to an official source, the current NTAGI guideline is based on recent worldwide scientific evidence obtained from programmed data.
As per the source, when the second dosage of Covishield is delivered eight weeks after the first, the antibody response elicited is virtually identical to when administered at intervals of 12 to 16 weeks.
According to the source, the decision would result in the rapid administration of the second dosage of Covishield to the remaining six to seven crore people due to an increase in instances in numerous nations.
Based on NTAGI recommendations, the government increased the time between the first and second doses of the Covishield vaccination from 6-8 weeks to 12-16 weeks on May 13, 2021.