Reduce gap between Covishield doses to 4-6 weeks, introduce booster shots: TS to Center

Telangana health minister T. Harish Rao has asked the Central government to reduce the interval between the two doses of Covishield to four-six weeks.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  3 Dec 2021 2:45 PM GMT
Reduce gap between Covishield doses to 4-6 weeks, introduce booster shots: TS to Center

Hyderabad: Telangana health minister T. Harish Rao has asked the Central government to reduce the interval between the two doses of Covishield to four-six weeks. With the emergence of new variants, he also suggested introducing booster shots for healthcare workers, frontline workers, and persons from high-risk groups.

In a letter to Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya, Mr. Rao said the target population for COVID-19 vaccination in Telangana is about 2.77 crore. As of date, 3.77 crore doses of vaccine have been administered of which 2.49 crore is the first dose and 1.28 crore, the second dose. He said the state is making all efforts to fully vaccinate all eligible persons.

"The present guidelines specify a gap of 12 weeks between two doses of Covishield vaccine. Since the gap between the two doses is quite long, it often causes difficulty in administering the second dose. This difficulty is more pronounced in case of inter-state and intra-state migrant workers and persons from high-risk groups as they frequently tend to move out of the areas in which they received the first dose," said the TS health minister.

He also added that since the lists on CoWIN portal for the second dose are generated according to the COVID vaccination centres where the first dose was received, it is difficult to track the persons for the second dose in their present locations. Further, the long gap between the doses also leads to people neglecting to take the second dose.

"It may therefore be considered to reduce the period between two doses to 4-6 weeks as in the past. This will help further improve the second dose coverage. A period of more than 8-10 months has elapsed since the administration of the second dose to healthcare workers, frontline workers, and persons from high-risk groups. With the efflux of time and emergence of new variants, the government of India may consider providing a booster dose at least for these categories," said the health minister.

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