No need at the moment to change Covishield doses gap: Vaccine task force experts

'Basic principle is that our people should get the maximum benefit from every dose of the vaccine'

No need at the moment to change Covishield doses gap: Vaccine task force experts

The Chairman of the national Covid Vaccine Administration task force on Tuesday said there was no need felt at the moment to revisit the Covishield doses gap.

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 22

The Chairman of the national Covid Vaccine Administration task force on Tuesday said there was no need felt at the moment to revisit the Covishield doses gap of 12 to 16 weeks.

Member (Health), NITI Aayog and Chairperson, National Expert Group on Vaccines Administration VK Paul today said that no need was felt at the moment to change the interval.

“We are collecting data under the National Vaccine Tracking System - and doing real-time evaluation regarding effectiveness of vaccines, dose interval, region-wise impact, variants; at present, no need is felt for changing dose interval of COVISHIELD. The basic principle is that our people should get the maximum benefit from every dose of the vaccine. We find that the current dosages are proving to be beneficial,” he said.

Paul added that at the same time, nothing was set in stone.

NK Arora, chairman of the National Technical Advisory group on Immunization also said at the moment there was no cause to change the gap.

The experts said India has the capacity to administer 1.25 crore doses a day and 22 crore doses were available for July.

“The target is to start inoculating over 1 crore people a day,” Arora said.

“Our aim is to vaccinate at least one crore people every day. Our capacity is such that we will easily be able to administer 1.25 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccine every day,”

Arora said that this target was especially achievable in the wake of good support from private sector and this was proved on the very first day when revised guidelines came into force.

Speaking how India has been successful in the past as well, Arora said: “This is not unprecedented. In one week, we give polio vaccines to around 17 crore children. So, when India decides to do something, we are able to achieve it.” India's COVID-19 vaccination drive is becoming a prime example of how public and private sectors can join together to better address and solve problems faced by the nation.”

Asked to comment on whether or not a third wave will occur Paul said it is in our hands.

“The third wave can be stopped if COVID Appropriate Behaviour is followed and majority of people get vaccinated. Why will there be a third wave if we follow COVID Appropriate Behaviour and get ourselves vaccinated? There are many countries where even second wave has not arrived; if we follow COVID appropriate behaviour, this period will pass."

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