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Allow Scheduling of 2nd Covishield Dose After 4 Weeks From the First: Kerala HC

The present suggested gap between the two doses of Covishield is of 84 days.

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<div class="paragraphs"><p>Covishield vaccine.</p></div>
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The Kerala High Court has directed the Centre on Friday, 3 September, to allow scheduling of second Covishield dose after four weeks from the first for those who want to take it early as per of initial protocols.

The present suggested gap between the two doses of Covishield is of 84 days.

Justice PB Suresh Kumar noted that if persons travelling abroad are permitted by the Union and state governments to choose between early and better protection from COVID-19, then there is no reason why the same privilege cannot be extended to those who want early protection for their employment or education, news agency PTI reported.

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The High Court order was made available on Monday and asserted that according to the Union Health Ministry's own policy the people shall have the choice to get early vaccination, for the implementation of which vaccine is being distributed on payment basis through private hospitals as well.

“The fourth respondent (Union government) is directed to make necessary provisions forthwith in the CoWIN portal, so as to enable scheduling of second dose of Covishield vaccine after four weeks of the first dose for those who want to accept the second dose after a period of four weeks in terms of the initial protocol of the vaccine.”
Kerala High Court, as quoted by PTI.

The court was hearing a plea by Kitex Garments Ltd, that sought permission to administer the second dose of the Covishield vaccine to its workers without having to wait for 84 days.

Kitex claimed more than 5,000 of its workers are already vaccinated with the first dose and that the company has arranged for the second dose at a cost of around Rs 93 lakh, but was unable to administer the same due to the prevailing restrictions, PTI reported.

However, the Union government opposed the plea saying that the 84-day gap between the two doses was fixed to increase the efficacy of the vaccine, as was recommended by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) and based on the inputs by the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG).

(With inputs from PTI)

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