New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: NTAGI Chief Dr NK Arora on Thursday refuted the reports of the government considering reducing the 84-day gap between two doses of Covishield vaccine and said that currently there is no proposal to reduce the gap between the two doses of Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V, the three among the 5 vaccines approved by the Indian government to inoculate its citizens.

"Programmatic data collection processes are on to assess vaccine effectiveness. NTAGI reviewing vaccine effectiveness data on regular basis. Currently, there's no proposal for change in dose interval for COVISHIELD, COVAXIN & SPUTNIK V under consideration", Dr NK Arora said as quoted by ANI.

Earlier in the day, government sources, as quoted by ANI, said that the Centre is considering reducing the gap between the two doses of Covishield. The sources said that the consideration will further be discussed in the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation in India (NTAGI) meeting soon.

"Reduction in the gap between two doses of COVISHIELD is being considered and it will be further discussed in NTAGI (National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation in India)", Government Sources said as quoted by ANI.

The proposal for a reduction in the two doses of the Covishield vaccine was recommended by the Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine (IAPSM), the sources added.

Dr NK Arora, earlier this month, had indicated that the government may reduce the gap between the two doses of Covishield, but only for people 45 years and older people.

The government had kept the gap between two doses of Serum Institute of India's Covishield, the Indian version of the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot, four to six weeks when India started the vaccination drive in January. However, it was later increased to six to eight weeks. In May, the government further increased the gap to 12 to 16 weeks.

The decision had raised questions, with many linking it to the massive shortage in vaccines when the second wave of Covid was at its peak. A controversy emerged when some members of the NTAGI suggested the decision was not unanimous and they had opposed doubling the dose interval. However, the government dismissed the allegations.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan