The government claims that the increased time between two doses of Covishield is based on scientific data, not due to a shortage.
Minister of Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan said on May 13, 2021, that the government is increasing the time between two doses of the Covishield vaccine from 6-8 weeks to 12-16 weeks. The decision was based on a clinical research study conducted in the United Kingdom that indicated increasing the interval between doses increased vaccine efficiency by 26.2 percent. The timing of the decision, however, coincides with an acute vaccination shortage in India.
All India Radio reported that the COVID-19 Working Group, chaired by Dr. N K Arora, recommended that the time between the first and second doses of the Covishield vaccine be increased. According to Health and Family Welfare Ministry, the COVID-19 Working Group agreed to increase the interval between two doses of Covishield to 12 to 16 weeks, based on real-life evidence, notably from the United Kingdom. However, no alteration in the period between Covaxin vaccination doses was recommended, according to the ministry.
According to three members of the National Technical Advisory Committee on Immunization (NTAGI) advisory committee, the administration increased the interval without the permission of the scientific panel that it said had authorized the decision last month, Reuters reported. The administration stated that the widened gap was based on scientific facts after lengthy deliberations among members of NTAGI as well as its working group on COVID-19 in two meetings conducted in May.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.