Dr Fauci Stresses on Quick Vaccination; Govt Says ‘Don’t Panic’

Dr Anthony Fauci had earlier called India’s move to delay the second dose ‘reasonable’ amid vaccine shortage.

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Dr Fauci Stresses on Quick Vaccination; Govt Says ‘Don’t Panic’
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Dr Anthony Fauci – medical advisor to the President of the United States – on Friday, 11 June, told NDTV that extending intervals between vaccine doses could leave people vulnerable to infection by one of the COVID variants in circulation.

Dr Fauci’s remarks come on the heels of the Government of India assuring citizens that there is no need to panic on the need for an immediate change in the dosage interval of COVID-19 vaccine Covishield.

‘There is a Need to Vaccinate People Quickly & Stay Ahead of the Virus’

Speaking to NDTV, Dr Fauci emphasised on the need to vaccinate people at the earliest to stay ahead of the virus, particularly the more infectious 'delta' variant.

“The delta variant, that is dominant in many states in India, spreads much more readily and efficiently from person to person. So any country that has the Delta variant should be concerned that there will be a surge of infections, particularly, if that particular country does not have a substantial proportion of their people vaccinated.”
Dr Anthony Fauci 

He further added that it was observed in the UK that when interval between vaccine doses is extended, people got infected by variants and that it is recommended to stay on schedule. However, he also said it may be necessary if the vaccine supply is limited.

‘No Need to Panic on Need for Immediate Change in Dosage Interval’: Govt

The Indian government on the other hand has assured people that there is no need to panic over news reports suggesting a change in interval between vaccine doses.

In a press release dated 11 June, Dr VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, was quoted as saying:

“Let us adopt due scientific process and respect the decision taken by NTAGI...Covishield Vaccine Doses Gap Reduction requires proper scientific study in the context of our country’s scenario.”

Earlier in May, the Centre changed the dosing interval to 12-16 weeks for Covishield, as against the previous protocol of 8-12 weeks – a decision which has been perceived by many as a result of the acute shortage of vaccines across the country.

(With inputs from NDTV)

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