Kerala

84-day gap between vaccine doses better: Centre

The Centre on Friday informed the Kerala High Court that the interval of 84 days between the Covishield vaccine doses was based on technical opinion that it would provide the best protection against COVID-19.

The submission was made in a statement filed in response to a writ petition by Kitex Garments Limited, Kochi, seeking to allow it to vaccinate its workers before the prescribed 85-day gap.

It said the expert opinion was given by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC). However, with a view to providing full vaccination coverage and facilitating international travel for genuine reasons, it was decided to allow a second dose before the prescribed time period of 12-16 weeks (84 days). However, the immunity provided by the second dose of Covishield vaccine with an interval of less than 12-16 weeks would be better than partial vaccination (single dose).

The Centre also pointed out that the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had relaxed the gap period for those travelling abroad for educational or employment purposes and contingent for the Tokyo Olympics on the basis of the recommendations received from the Empowered Group 5.

The relaxation in the gap period was further extended in July to Indian government officials mandated to attend official commitments abroad. Later, it had further been extended in August to those who have to undertake travel abroad for medical treatment and foreign nationals who have to return to their native countries.

Therefore, the decision to increase the dose interval of Covishield vaccine was based on scientific evidence and expert opinions, the Centre submitted.


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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 10:19:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/84-day-gap-between-vaccine-doses-better-centre/article36275497.ece

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