No immediate change in the dose range of the Covishield vaccine; Respect the NTAGI decision: Center

New Delhi: The government informed on Friday that there would be no change in the interval between doses of Covishield vaccine, immediately adding that scientific evidence had been gathered to review the decision at the next NEGVAC meeting.

A recent Lancet study suggested that it would be better to narrow this gap between doses, in light of the variants in circulation, Dr VK Paul, member (Health) of NITI Aayog, said there was a need to balance these concerns.

At a press conference, Dr Paul was quoted by PTI as saying, “There is no need to panic, which suggests a need for an immediate switch or change in the gap between doses. All of these decisions must be taken with great care. We have to remember that when we increased the gap, we had to consider the risk posed by the virus to those who received only one dose. But the counterpoint was that more people would then be able to receive the first dose, thus giving a reasonable degree of immunity to more people.

“We have to balance these concerns. So, remember that we necessarily have to have this debate and this discourse in the public domain. However, the decision has to be made by appropriate forums including eminent people who are aware of it,” he said. he declared. mentionned.

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He further stated that within the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI), many people have served on WHO groups and committees and are globally known and recognized for their eminence. Additionally, NTAGI is considered a standard for global and national immunization programs. “So please respect their decisions,” he said.

Hosting a speech on this topic, Dr Paul stressed the need for an appropriate scientific process to arrive at such decisions. He called on the public to respect the decision made by NTAGI, a body of world-renowned experts.

“That the decision regarding the dose interval be reviewed by NTAGI, in accordance with due process. The UK must have adopted due process and reviewed the data scientifically, to revise its previous decision regarding the deviation. UK had previously held the gap at 12 weeks but based on the data we have we didn’t consider it safe at this point, ”he said.

“So, let’s entrust this to our scientific forums, they already have to address it. They will look at it depending on the pandemic situation in our country, depending on the extent of the prevalence of the delta variant in our country, and then take Whatever decision our scientific community makes, we will respect it, ”said Paul.

A study published in the medical journal Lancet found that the antibody response to variants is weaker in people who received only one dose and that a longer gap between doses can significantly reduce antibodies against the Delta variant which is dominant in India. The study was conducted using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against five strains of Covid, including the variants of concern B.1.617.2 (Delta) and B.1.351 (Beta) first detected in South Africa ). The other three variants were: a strain with the original tip sequence (wild type); a strain with an Asp614Gly mutation isolated during the first wave of infection in the United Kingdom (D614G); and B.1.1.7 (alpha).

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