Reduce Covishield dose gap to 8-16 weeks, recommends panel
New Delhi, March 20 (IANS): The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) has recommended reducing the gap between the first and second dose of Covid vaccine Covishield to 8 to 16 weeks in view of ongoing Omicron pandemic, said a source on Sunday.
Presently, the second dose of Covishield is being administered 12-16 weeks after the first dose under the national vaccination drive. India’s apex body on immunisation now recommends this be curbed to ramp up the administration of the second dose of Covishield to the remaining population amid rising cases in European nations and some other countries.
The government had on May 13, 2021 extended the gap between the first and second doses of the Covishield vaccine from 6-8 weeks to 12-16 weeks, based on the recommendations by NTAGI that provides guidance to the Union Health Ministry on the immunisation.
However, India continues on downward trend of new Covid cases. Total 1,761 fresh Covid cases were recorded nationwide on Sunday which is lowest in around 688 days. Following a continuous downward trend, India’s active caseload has also declined to 26,240, constituting 0.06 per cent of total positive cases.