Advisory to extend interval for second dose of vaccine to be implemented in U.T.

The implementation of a Central advisory to extend the interval for injecting the second dose of Covishield vaccines to between six to eight weeks of the first jab will cover a significant proportion of the vaccinated population, health officials said.

To date, 47,558 persons have been vaccinated in the Union Territory. This includes 20,732 healthcare personnel, who were the first group to be targeted when the national immunisation programme was rolled out on January 16, 7,614 frontline workers and 19,212 members of the public.

An estimated 70% or more of the vaccinated population have received their first shot and await their second dose. The vaccination programme has completed 47 days for healthcare personnel, 35 days for frontline workers and only 19 days for members of the general public.

Health Secretary T. Arun said the Government of India advisory on extending the second dose of Covishield from the current 28 days to between six to eight weeks of the first dose would be implemented in the UT. The automated text alerts from the CoWIN portal on second dose would indicate a date range for the beneficiary to choose from.

In a letter to States/UTs on Monday, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan cited emerging scientific evidence globally to recommend extending the interval between the two doses of Covishield as advocated by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation and subsequently by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) in a recent meeting.

The recommendation has been revised to provide the second dose of Covishield at between the fourth to eight week’s interval after the first dose, instead of the earlier practice of between four to six week’s spacing. This decision of revised time interval between two doses is applicable only to Covishield and not Covaxin.

“The spacing out of the second dose is being advocated as studies have shown a vastly improved efficacy of immunity”, S. Mohan Kumar, Director of Health said.

Meanwhile, the health department is driving the twin-track campaign for continued adherence to masking, sanitising and social distancing amid another wave of cases and increased adoption of vaccination.

On Wednesday, the Directorate of Health Services is organising a mega Covid vaccination camp at the MGMCRI.

Meanwhile, the toll in the Union Territory went up to 677 after another a 84-year-old Covid patient died in Karaikal even as 81 new cases were reported on Tuesday.

With this, the toll in Karaikal stood 73. The toll by region is Puducherry (549), Yanam (45) and Mahe (10).

The new cases, which were confirmed from 1,972 tests, were reported in Puducherry (50), Karaikal (34) and Mahe (three).

The test positivity rate was 4.14 per cent, case fatality rate 1.67 per cent and recovery rate 97.14 per cent.

With 18 patients discharged in the last 24 hours, the active cases in the UT aggregated 480. Of this, 212 were in hospitals and 268 in home isolation.

So far, the Health Department has carried out an estimated 6.55 lakh tests of which over 6.08 lakh returned negative.

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Printable version | May 10, 2021 5:23:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/advisory-to-extend-interval-for-second-dose-of-vaccine-to-be-implemented-in-ut/article34145323.ece

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