Karnataka: Not 28 days, healthcare workers seek 12-week gap between Covishield doses | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: All those who took Covid vaccine on January 16 — the day the inoculation drive began in India — have completed four weeks and are due for a second dose on February 13. In Karnataka, a total of 13,408 healthcare workers had taken the vaccine on Day 1 of the drive and most of them were administered Covishield.
However, there are no plans to hold the sessions for the second dose on Saturday as it is a second Saturday and a government holiday.
The second dose of vaccination is likely to begin from Monday, according to department officials.
The healthcare workers who took the vaccine are demanding that the 12-week interval between the two doses, prescribed by manufacturer of Covishield to ensure better efficacy, is followed.
Docs: Changing dates can lead to logistical issues
Many doctors are asking nodal officers of vaccination session sites to delay the second jab showing scientific data. But the Centre’s directive says the second dose should be taken after 28 days. “In the first phase, the vaccine was given to healthcare workers, who have more knowledge about scientific data than others. They are showing us articles in media, scientific journals and the factsheet from vaccine manufacturers. We are trying to convince them about the government’s plan of action. It will be a huge task to get them in time for the second dose of vaccination,” said a source involved in the vaccination drive.
According to the factsheet of Covishield vaccine, if the second dose is taken within six weeks from the time of the first dose, the efficacy would be 53.2%. It increases to 60.5% if the spacing is 9-11 weeks. It it’s 12 weeks apart, the efficacy would be 78.7 %. Some healthcare workers are willing to take the second dose after eight weeks. Nodal officers are getting queries from beneficiaries about the last date when they can take the jab. “If they do not turn up on the scheduled date, we will have to wait for them. This slows down the process. Some are willing to take the second dose only towards winding up of the vaccination session for healthcare workers,” a nodal officer said.
A retired professor from Nimhans said immunogenicity increases considerably if the second dose is delayed to12 weeks. “The government, perhaps, thinks compliance with the second dose may reduce if spacing is stretched to 12 weeks,” said the professor.
However, some doctors said changing the dates and plan can lead to huge logistical issues for the entire country. “Effectiveness goes up to 70 % if it is spaced in 12 weeks. That does not mean the four-week gap between the doses is not effective. We need to keep the logistics in mind and be practical said,” Dr H Sudarshan Ballal, member, Covid-19 expert committee, said.
Dr Rajani BN, state deputy director, immunization, health and family welfare department, said the state will implement the second dose as per the Centre’s guidelines.
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Sagar Biswas

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