The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) plans to cut down the gap between the two shots of Covishield. This recommendation by NTAGI pours in as the Omicron surge is making news in Asia and Europe during last week. The World Health Organisation (WHO) chief recently warned people that this could be the “tip of the iceberg.”
Why Covishield Gap Cutdown?
Talking of the upcoming surge of Omicron 2 in Asia, India continues to curb the number of covid infections. This is a great relief but we still need to understand that the coronavirus new variants are still in circulation.
Vaccination cover is yet to reach each and every eligible candidate. Social distancing and wearing mask is also reducing as day by day social activity are becoming rigorous.
Secondly, India has a huge population of 130+billion people and out of which only 18+accounts for more than a 90+million population. So, vaccinating 90+ million adults with two doses is a huge task. Along with this the additions of other categories like a teenager of 15-17 years, precautionary dose and booster dose for senior citizens and frontline warriors, added to the task in terms of numbers and availability.
The present gap between two doses of Covishield is 12 -16 weeks. So, seeing the trend of an upsurge in cases globally again, the NTAGI has come up with reducing the gap between two shots to 8 -16 weeks. So, that we can increase the vaccination cover-up soon. This will help in fastening the vaccination drive too, which is trailing behind its mark to vaccinate all the adults by Dec 2021.
Whereas, the NTAGI doesn’t recommend any changes in the gap of the second most used vaccine in India, Covaxin. In Covaxin, the gap is of 28 days only. Till now, 90% of adults have used Covishield as the choice of a vaccine against coronavirus in India. So, reducing the gap will help to achieve the 100% goal of vaccination adults can be done easily.
Till now 85% of the adult population has got both doses in India. Whereas 95.6% have received one dose of the vaccine. States like Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and J&k have completely vaccinated their adult population. On the other hand states like Jharkhand and Bihar are lagging far behind.
Vaccination has proved to be the most effective method to protect individuals against coronavirus infection. This is clearly seen in some parts of the globe like India is one such example. But, the constant mutations in the virus genome has led to different variants thus decreasing the efficacy of the vaccination too.