Will stick to govt’s ‘28-day gap’ plan in vaccine: Panel | India News – Times of India

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    MUMBAI: Two days after the WHO recommended extending the interval between the two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine Covishield to 8 to 12 weeks for maximum efficacy, the central vaccine task force told TOI that India, for now, will stick to its original plan of administering the second dose after 28 days (4 weeks). The second dose drive is scheduled to start from Saturday, and many medical professionals have questioned the government’s stand.
    ‘WHO advises an 8- to 12-week gap’
    Vinod K Paul, chairman of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19, told TOI on Friday that they were “examining the issue”. “As of now, the current recommendation (to start vaccinating after 28 days) stands,” he said. Doctors have questioned that if countries like the UK are giving the booster dose after 8 to 12 weeks, why should beneficiaries here settle for lesser efficacy?
    The WHO on February 10 said that the two-dose efficacy and immunogenicity increase with a longer inter-dose interval. “WHO recommends an interval of 8 to 12 weeks between the doses,” it stated. Clinical trial findings from studies in the UK, Brazil and South Africa have shown an efficacy of just over 63% irrespective of inter-dose interval. However, exploratory analyses showed that efficacy increased to 70% in those who took it at an interval of 9-12 weeks and 78% in those who took it after 12 weeks.
    The recommendations have triggered a debate in the medical community. The issue has even been added to the state Covid-19 task force’s meeting agenda on Monday. State and civic officials have said a decision can only be taken by the Centre. The WHO recommendations also underlined that if the second dose was administered less than 4 weeks after the first, the dose need not be repeated.



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