Hours after a government panel on Thursday recommended an increase in the gap between two doses of Serum Institute of India's COVISHIELD to 12-16 weeks, Centre has approved the panel's recommendation, said the government.
"The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has also accepted this recommendation of the COVID Working Group for extension of the gap between the first and second doses of COVISHIELD vaccine to 12 -16 weeks," news agency ANI quoted sources from the Government of India.
The COVID Working Group chaired by Dr N K Arora had recommended extension of the gap between the first and second doses of COVISHIELD vaccine to 12-16 weeks. The present gap between the two doses of the COVISHIELD vaccine is 6-8 weeks.
Sources from the Centre added, "Based on the available real-life evidence, particularly from UK, the COVID-19 Working Group agreed for increasing the dosing interval to 12-16 weeks between two doses of COVISHIELD vaccine. No change in interval of COVAXIN vaccine doses was recommended."
This is the second increase in the interval for Covishield in three months. In March, the Centre told states and UTs to increase the gap from 28 days to six to eight weeks for better results.
Earlier in the day, the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) recommended an increase in the gap between two doses of Serum Institute of India's COVISHIELD to 12-16 weeks.
However, no such changes were recommended in the intervals of Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN.
Sources said, "The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) recommends for increasing gap between two doses of COVISHIELD to 12-16 weeks. No change in interval of COVAXIN."