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Home / News / India /  Govt panel to discuss reducing Covishield dosage gap: Report

The central government is considering reducing the interval between two Covishield doses, reported ANI, quoting government sources. 

As per the news agency, the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation in India (NTAGI) will decide on the dosage gap. 

“Reducing the gap between two doses of Covishield is being considered and it will be further discussed in NTAGI," said sources. 

Responding to this, NTAGI chief Dr NK Arora said that the government panel is reviewing vaccine effectiveness data on regular basis. 

“Programmatic data collection processes are on to assess vaccine effectiveness. NTAGI reviewing vaccine effectiveness data on regular basis. Currently, there is no proposal for change in dose interval for Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik  under consideration," said Arora. 

Reports earlier this month had stated that the government is in discussions on narrowing the gap between two Covishield doses for those 45 years or older on increased availability of the vaccine.

The current gap between two doses of the vaccine has been set at 12-16 weeks for all adults.

The NTAGI had earlier recommended a randomized trial of varying dosage intervals of Covishield and other vaccines and asked the Serum Institute of India (SII), the maker of the Oxford-AstraZeneca-developed vaccine, to study the effects of varying gaps between vaccines.

The recommended dose gap for Covishield was four to six weeks when the nationwide vaccination drive started in January this year. It was later extended to six to eight weeks.

In May, the government revised the dose gap to 12 to 16 weeks. Criticism followed the decision as there was a shortage of vaccines in the country and it was seen as a move to gain time to procure more doses.

Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said in the first week of August monthly production of Covishield and Covaxin is expected to increase to over 12 crore and 5.8 crore doses, respectively.

Responding to a question on the current output of the vaccines, the minister said that the production capacity is projected to increase from August to December, as per information by the manufacturers.

Mandaviya also said that four more Indian pharma firms are expected to start anti-coronavirus vaccine production by October-November that will accelerate the inoculation drive.

SII supply of Covishield 

The Pune-based SII has informed the Centre that it will be able to supply around 20 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccine Covishield in September itself. It has already supplied 12 crore doses of the Covid-19 vaccine in August, the company said. 

In a production plan submitted to the Centre in May, SII's director had communicated that the production of Covishield would be ramped up to 10 crore each in August and September.

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