Extending Interval Between 2 Coveshield Doses, decision by Next Week: Expert Panel

An expert panel of the government is considering widening the gap between the two doses of the Covishield vaccine from Oxford-AstraZeneca. Government sources have reported that the panel is reviewing new evidence from international studies that suggest the vaccine’s efficacy improves if the interval between the two doses is prolonged. The committee is likely to take a decision next week.

The recommended interval between two doses of Covishield, manufactured by Pune’s Serum Institute of India (SII), was increased from four-six weeks to six-eight weeks in April.

Experts believe that such a move could put pressure on the vaccine supply chain at a time when India decided to include all adults in its mass vaccination program against coronovirus disease (Covid-19). Have done

In March, a study published in the journal The Lancet stated that Covishield has 81.3% efficacy if the dose is administered two weeks apart. Researchers found that Covishield’s efficacy was just 55.1% when two standard doses were administered for less than six weeks.

According to data from late-stage trials in the UK and Brazil, the vaccine is up to 90% effective when given as a half-dose after a full dose at least one month later. But there is not enough data to make this idea work.

In countries such as the UK and Canada, the two doses of the vaccine are 12 weeks and 16 weeks apart, respectively. Experts point out that the vaccine leads to better immune responses with gaps in the time period.

If the gap widens in India, it will help the country on two fronts.

First, it could reduce the skyrocketing demand for vaccines in India’s background to make all adults eligible for the shot from May 1 – with more candidates on the way – apart from SII’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin which Currently in use – the move addresses a crippling supply crisis, which many states have complained about.

Second, if the congestion for the second dose is slowed, officials may focus on vaccinating more beneficiaries with the first dose, which provides some degree of protection before the second dose is given. For example, recent data from the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) showed that the AstraZeneca vaccine is 86.0% effective in people aged over 60 at least two weeks after the first dose.

The vaccine is confirmed in a Phase III clinical analysis of the UK, Brazil and South Africa, “AstraZeneca said on its website,” in severe cases and after 22 days of no hospitalization, the vaccine is safe and safe. Is effective. “February 3. Results demonstrated vaccine efficacy of 76% after the first dose, maintaining the second dose.” With an intermittent interval of 12 weeks or more, the vaccine efficacy increased to 82%, ” it said.

As of the morning of 6 May, India’s cumulative immunization coverage had exceeded 18.244 crore, with over nine lakh beneficiaries in the 18-44 age group receiving the job.