We Didn’t Back Doubling of Gap Between Vaccine Doses: Indian scientists

 - Sakshi Post

The Indian government announced a new gap time between two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The problem is that there is no confirmation from the scientific group. There is a group of three scientific members who were recommended for the decision on gap time, but nothing has been confirmed from their side.

This decision came out on May 13. The gap time was increased from 6-8 weeks to 12-16 weeks. As there was a shortage in vaccine doses and demand was high, the country decided to increase the time between both doses. The Health Ministry said that the decision was taken after recommending it to the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI).

But upon being questioned about this, the NTAGI scientists said that the ministry did not provide enough data to make a recommendation like this.

Even the former director of the state-run National Institute of Epidemiology, MD Gupte said that the NTAGI had given their consent and backed up the earlier time gap decision. The 8-12 week gap was approved by World Health Organization and further increase to that was not backed by the NTAGI scientists. 

Also Read: India's Health Ministry Changes Gap Between Two Doses of Vaccination

According to the reports, the decision to increase it to 12-16 weeks was something that was done by the Indian government. There is no data to determine the effects of waiting beyond 12 weeks. NTAGI scientists shared that they only agreed for 8-12 weeks and not beyond that.

This is going back and forth as the Health Ministry later commented on NTAGI’s statement and said that the decision was made based on scientific evidence. They further added that it was not done to deal with vaccine shortage. It is purely a ‘scientific decision’.

With the changes in the number of cases and situation, the decision from the health ministry is also changing multiple times. Recently the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that a person can take around 28 days gap between two doses of Covishield. The gap time between two doses of vaccine keeps changing depending on the condition.

Initially, it started as 28 days gap between the first and second dose. Then the 1-month gap was extended to three months, i.e. 12 weeks and now the latest suggestion was to increase the time to 12-16 weeks.

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