India — When to take Covid-19 vaccine 2nd dose? When to take 1st dose if once infected? Here’s all you need to know
The gap between the first dose and the second dose of a Covid-19 vaccine has become crucial in India as many beneficiaries are missing the date of the second dose because of the shortage of doses. On Thursday an expert panel recommended that the gap between the two doses of Covishield can be further extended to 12 to 16 weeks.
Here is all you need to know:
1. When should you take the 2nd dose?
In general, a gap of a minimum of 28 days is suggested between two doses of Covid-19 vaccines. But for Covishield, the vaccine developed by Oxford University and Astrazeneca and produced in India by Pune’s Serum Institute, the gap has been revised based on “emerging scientific evidence”. When India started the vaccination drive in January, the recommended gap was four to six weeks. In March, the gap period was revised and extended to four to eight weeks. Now the expert group has again recommended widening the gap to 12 to 16 weeks.
2. Why does the gap matter?
Studies have revealed that Covishield works better when the two doses are spaced apart. The Lancet, in February, said, Covishield’s effectiveness increases by over 26 per cent if the doses are spaced 12 or more weeks apart.
3. Why the gap between the two doses of Covaxin is not revised?
According to experts, Covaxin has been developed in a different way. It is an inactivated vaccine, which contains a “dead virus, incapable of infecting people but still able to instruct the immune system to mount a defensive action against an infection”. Its two doses are given 28 days apart and no change has been suggested to this gap.