Second Dose By When? 28-day gap fine, but a little delay no issue
UK regulator recommended 4 to 12 weeks gap for second Covishield jab
Hyderabad: Decks have been cleared for rolling out the much-awaited Covid vaccine, now that Centre has given approval for emergency use of two vaccines. One of them is British manufactured AstraZeneca-Oxford shot which would be made available by Serum Institute (Pune) under the brand of Covishield.
The UK regulator, however, recommended in their country that booster dose (second dose) could be given anytime between 4 weeks (one month) to 12 weeks (three months). Some countries are exploring the option of providing the second vaccine jab after a period of two to three months.
However, medical experts here are not in favour of delayed booster dose up to 3 months as suggested by the UK regulator. It has to be given after 28 days (4 weeks) or at best before 8 weeks and not beyond that preferably, they opine.
Dr AV Guruva Reddy, CMD of Sunshine Hospitals, feels that booster dose could be given within a period of 4 weeks to 8 weeks after giving the first dose. "28 days gap is preferable, but there should be no issue if the booster dose is delayed beyond that by 10 days or up to one month," Guruva Reddy said.
Dr Nagarjuna, District Immunisation Officer for Hyderabad, who is involved in regular vaccination programmes for infants and kids, says that maintaining 28 days gap would be ideal but there should be no harm if the booster dose is administered beyond a few weeks after that. He said that the first dose's effect would not decrease even if the booster dose is delayed by a couple of weeks due to unexpected reasons.
Former NIMS director Dr Raja Reddy feels that sticking to 28 days gap for the two doses would be ideal. He points out that the immunity with the first dose is just over 50 per cent and only when the second dose is administered the person develops full immunity against the virus.
It may be mentioned here that health authorities in Telangana or the union health ministry have already declared that 28 days gap will be ensured between the two doses.