Hyderabad: Several posts on social media claim that the Central government has said one dose of Covishield is enough to prevent COVID-19. The posts further claim that the government has said two doses of the vaccine can cause harm.
This claim is false. The Centre has not changed the schedule for Covishield vaccine and both doses are to be taken.
On 26 April, the Centre released a video to address the importance of taking two doses of the COVID-19 vaccines. Dr. Randeep Guleria, the director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi, explained that the first dose, also known as prime dose, prepares our immune system to build antibodies but this will not last for a long time. The second dose, also known as booster dose, boosts the immune system to produce a large number of antibodies and "cell-mediated immunity" which is another defence mechanism against the coronavirus infection.
The second dose also stimulates memory cells so that your body remembers the infection for the long term and is able to quickly produce antibodies even when infected later. Dr. Guleria said, "Two doses is essential if you want protection against COVID-19."
The video was posted on the Press Information Bureau's (PIB) Twitter account.
Although there are studies conducted on the sufficiency of giving only one dose, the Indian government has not changed the vaccine schedule. NewsMeter did not find any media report about the government approving only one shot of the coronavirus vaccine.
PIB Fact-Check has also refuted the claim and said that there is no change in the vaccine schedule for Covishield. The current time gap between two Covishield vaccination shots is 12 weeks and it is necessary to take a second shot.
Evidently, the claim that the Central government has said that only one dose of Covishield is enough to fight COVID-19 is false.