Is 84-day gap between Covishield vaccines based on availability or efficacy, Kerala HC asks Centre

The court was hearing a petition by Kitex Garments, which sought to administer second dose of vaccine earlier than 84 days.

Updated - August 24, 2021 04:57 pm IST

Published - August 24, 2021 04:38 pm IST - KOCHI:

A health worker shows Covishield and Covaxin vaccines. File

A health worker shows Covishield and Covaxin vaccines. File

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to clarify on what basis the 84-day gap between two doses of Covishield had been prescribed.

The court said that it wanted to know whether the stipulation of the 84-day interval between the two doses of Covishield was based on the availability of the vaccine or its efficacy.

Justice P.B. Suresh Kumar sought the clarification when a writ petition by Kitex Garments Ltd, Kochi, seeking a directive to the State government to allow it to administer the second dose of Covishield vaccine to its workers without following the 84 day-gaps came up for hearing.

The court said if the gap was set based on the availability of vaccines, those willing to buy it could be allowed to take the second shot before completion of the prescribed days of gap. In fact, hundreds of persons ready to pay for vaccines were waiting for completion of the gap days.

State government submitted that it was following the the Central government's vaccine policy and unless the Centre altered its policy, it could not allow narrowing down the gaps.

Counsel for the petitioner submitted that the Centre had prescribed the policy because the vaccines were supplied by it. If vaccines could be bought individually, the government should not insist on adhering to the 84-day gap between the two vaccines.

Kitex in its petition submitted that it had already vaccinated more than 5,000 of its workers with the first dose and had arranged vaccines for the second dose. However, it was unable to administer the second dose because of the restrictions on administration of vaccines.

The court adjourned the hearingin the case to Thursday.

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