New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The government is considering reducing the gap between Covishield doses for those aged 45 years and above according to the Indian financial daily Mint. The decision may be taken in two to four weeks and will be based on final scientific evidence, Covid-19 working group chairman Dr. NK Arora said.

"We have gathered data on the impact of vaccines and their dosage interval on different age groups and from different regions. In two to four weeks, we may decide on reducing dosage interval of Covishield, especially for those above 45 years and elderly based on final scientific evidence," said N K Arora, chairperson, National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation in India (NTAGI).

He also said that even a single dose of Covishield has shown a strong immune response in scientific studies.

This comes amid growing criticism over the Centre's current decision to set a gap of 12-16 weeks between two Covishield doses. It has been interpreted as an attempt to tackle the vaccine shortage in India. Earlier, the recommended gap between the two doses of Covishield was 4-6 weeks which was later increased to 4 to 8 weeks and then finally to 12-16 weeks.

However, experts have also asserted that the decision was based on the emerging international scientific studies, which states that a longer gap between the doses generated more antibodies.

Meanwhile, the monthly production capacity of Covishield vaccine is expected to be increased from 110 million doses to more than 120 million by the end of the year according to the information provided by the health ministry and Serum Institute of India.

Rebuffing the news of vaccine shortage NK Arora said "We do have enough doses and should cover the whole eligible population, but we don't have spare doses. We will take a decision based on scientific evidence."

Posted By: Sugandha Jha