The government has accepted the COVID-19 Working Group’s recommendation for extending the gap between the two doses of the Covishield vaccine from 6-8 weeks to 12-16 weeks, the Union health ministry said, while announcing the extension on Thursday.
However, no change has been suggested for the dosage interval for Covaxin, it 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 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.
It has accepted this recommendation of the COVID-19 Working Group of extension of the gap between the first and second doses of Covishield to 12-16 weeks, the health ministry added.
The COVID-19 Working Group is chaired by Dr N K Arora, who is director at the INCLEN Trust. Its members comprise Dr Rakesh Agarwal, Director and Dean, JIPMER, Puducherry; Dr Gagandeep Kang, professor, Christian Medical College, Vellore; Dr J P Mulliyal, former 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).