Centre’s decision to accept the recommendation of the expert panel on vaccinations and increase the gap between two doses of Serum Institute of India’s Covishield vaccine to 12-16 weeks has sparked off a raging debate in the country about the efficacy of the vaccine considering the widening gap.
While some people are saying this is a calculated move on government’s part to tide over the shortage of vaccines, experts however say this time gap extension will translate to higher vaccine efficacy.
Acclaimed medical journal The Lancet published a study and said that a three-month interval between doses of the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine results in higher efficacy than a six-week gap.
White House Chief Medical Adviser Dr Anthony Fauci, who is one of the topmost infectious disease experts in the United States, also came out in India’s defence and dubbed the move as a ‘reasonable approach’. Dr Fauci said that this ‘extended interval’ is beneficial even from the efficacy standpoint amid criticism that the extension is a cover-up for vaccine shortage.