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COVID-19 Vaccine | No question of giving single dose of Covishield: Health Ministry

NITI Aayog member VK Paul said in a health ministry briefing held on June 1 that there is no question of administering just a single dose of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield COVID-19 vaccine. “There is absolutely no change in the schedule of Covishield doses; it will be two doses only. After the first Covishield dose is administered, the second dose will be given after 12 weeks. The same schedule is applicable to Covaxin."

A government panel has reportedly been constituted to conduct a trial on the efficacy of a mixture of vaccines; it will also study whether a single dose of Covishield -- the vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) -- will provide enough immunity against COVID-19.

The Health Ministry also clarified that there is no immediate plan of administering mixed doses of vaccines, even though certain sections of the media have reported so.

VK Paul added that there will be no mixing of coronavirus vaccines in India till there is enough proof. The SOP is both doses of the same vaccines for now. Mixing of vaccines is not in our protocol at the moment.

Meanwhile, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) chief Balram Bhargava has said that unlocking should be done very cautiously. He said: “The positivity rate should be below five percent on a seven-day-average in a district before it is opened up. Additionally, nearly 70 percent of the elderly population must be vaccinated.”

The Health Ministry further said that the Centre has provided more than four crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines free of cost to the states and union territories (UTs).

“Over 2.66 crore doses have been procured by states on their own. Over 1.24 crore doses have been supplied to private hospitals,” the ministry said.

The ICMR DG added: “There is no shortage of vaccines. By mid-July or August, we will have enough doses to vaccinate one crore people per day. We are confident of vaccinating the whole population by December.”


Credit: Money Control | JUNE 01, 2021

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