The government is mulling to reduce the time gap between both the doses of SII's Covishield. If sources are to be believed the Union Health Ministry is soon going to take a decision in this regard.
According to the government, by reducing the gap between both doses, more people will be able to get the vaccine sooner, sources said.
The government thinks that this move is feasible now because there are many vaccines available for the people, apart from Covishield and Covaxin, and also because there is a sufficient amount of vaccines available in the country.
Chairman of India's COVID-19 Working Group of NTAGI, Dr N K Arora, however, said no such proposal for changing the dose interval for any COVID-19 vaccine is under consideration.
"There are several studies and programmatic data collection processes are on to assess the vaccine effectiveness. NTAGI is reviewing the vaccine effectiveness data on a regular basis. Currently there is no proposal for change in the dose interval for Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V is under consideration," Arora said.
The government in May had further extended the gap between the two doses of Covishield from 6-8 weeks to 12-16 weeks and said the decision to increase the gap was based on scientific evidence.
Based on emerging data, India would revisit the dosage interval for Covishield vaccine and take appropriate action, Arora had earlier said.
On the decision to increase the gap between two doses of Covishield from four-six weeks to 12-16 weeks, he had said the move was based on scientific decision and there was no dissenting voice among members of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation
A few days back the Serum Institute of India (SII) chairman Cyrus Poonawalla had said that the ideal gap between two doses of Covishield is two months and another dose of the vaccine should be taken after six months.
Asked about a report in the medical journal Lancet that antibodies against coronavirus created by Covishield, the vaccine manufactured by the SII, decrease after some time, Poonawalla told reporters that it was true that the antibodies decrease, but "memory cells" remain.
"After six months, the antibodies go down and that is why I have taken the third dose. We have given the third dose to our seven to eight thousand SII employees. For those who have completed the second dose, it is my request to take a booster dose (third dose) after six months," he said.