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Covaxin Gap 4 Weeks as Protection of 1st Dose Not High: ICMR Head

Immunity level after the first shot of Covaxin not high, second shot should be taken after 4 weeks. 

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COVID-19
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The head of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Thursday, 20 May, said that the interval between two doses of Covaxin has been kept constant to a period of four weeks as the protection offered by the vaccine is not very high after the first dose, according to The Times of India.

“Immunity level after the first shot of Covaxin is not as high and this means that the second shot of the vaccine should be taken after four weeks to ensure full efficacy.”
Dr Balram Bhargava, ICMR Head

Earlier, it was advised that both the COVID vaccines in India at the time – Covishield and Covaxin – should be taken with a gap of a minimum of 28 days.

In March 2021, a revised interval was introduced for the Covishield vaccine and the recommended gap was widened to between four to eight weeks. While for the former, the government has now revised the interval to 12-16 weeks claiming increased immunity as a result, the interval has been kept to four weeks for Covaxin.

“The immunity post the first shot of Covishield has been quite strong and a three month gap between the vaccine will give the best results.”
Dr Balram Bhargava, ICMR Head

According to The Times of India, Dr Bhargava recommended that people who were infected with COVID after receiving the first dose of the vaccine, should get the second shot after three months interval, as the recovered would have developed antibodies.

He stated that it is not clear as to how long the antibodies would last and that a three month gap between the vaccine is advisable.

(With inputs from The Times of India)

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