New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Have you missed the second dose of the COVID jab? Don’t worry! You don’t need to restart the vaccination again. According to experts if you have not taken the second dose of the Coronavirus vaccine on time, it doesn’t make the first dose ineffective. As many as 5 lakh people in Maharashtra are still waiting to get their second shot.

“We know there are many single doses whose second shot have been delayed. They need not be worried. Even if the gap between the two doses increases to 8-10 weeks, in case of any of the two vaccines, the beneficiary can take the second shot and it will be effective. There is no need to repeat the vaccine schedule due to a delayed second dose,” Dr NK Arora of the National Committee on Adverse Events said as quoted by Times of India.

There is no reason to panic if the second dose is yet to be administered. The first dose will anyway build some antibodies which will not disappear because of the delayed dose. The second dose is required only to give optimum results. Its delay doesn’t cause any danger to the recipient. “A booster (second) dose essentially increases the quality of the first dose-response,” said IISER’s immunologist Dr. Vineeta Bal as quoted by Times of India.

However, the first dose has a limited lifetime. The antibodies produced through it can start to diminish after 4 to 5 months. Nevertheless, based on recent international trial data the gap between the two doses of Covishield can go up to 12 weeks without affecting the immunity.

For Covaxin no such data is available to conclude if the vaccine can sustain more than 5 weeks gap. In many countries like UK and Canada, the gap between the two doses of the Covishield vaccines ranges from 12 to 16 weeks, respectively.

Studies even show that a single dose of Covishield in symptomatic patients against the UK variant showed 65% protection. Even if a patient contracted the virus after the first dose, they should take the second dose and complete the schedule after 6-10 weeks of recovery.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan