Kochi: Clearing the air on efficacy of Covishield jabs and the gap between two doses, the Central government on Friday submitted in the Kerala High Court that the duration of 84 days between 1st and 2nd doses of Covishield vaccine is providing the best protection against COVID-19. The statement was made in the counter-affidavit filed by the Central government while replying to a writ petition by Kitex Garments Ltd, Kochi, seeking a directive to the State Government to allow it to administer the second dose of Covishield vaccine to its workers before the completion of the 84-day gap.Also Read - Nerve Disorder Listed as Rare Side Effect of AstraZeneca Covid Shot
“India’s National COVID Vaccination Program was built on scientific and epidemiological evidence, World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines and global best practices,” stated in the affidavit of the Centre. The affidavit of the Central government further stated that the dose interval between the two doses of the Covishield vaccine under the COVID-19 vaccination drive had undergone a series of revisions based on the available and emerging scientific evidence mentioned above with the overall guidance of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC). Also Read - Allow Second Covishield Dose After 4 Weeks From First for Early Recipient, Kerala HC Appeal to Centre
“Based on the recommendations by NEGVAC, the schedule of the Covishield vaccine under the National Covid-19 Vaccination Programme is to administer the second dose at 12-16 weeks interval after administration of the first dose. This is based on the technical opinion that the duration of 84 days between 1st and 2nd doses of Covishield is providing the best protection against COVID-19,” the affidavit stated. Also Read - Man Gets Two Doses of Covishield Within Minutes at Busy Vaccination Centre in Karnataka
Decision to increase dose interval based on scientific evidence
“To provide full vaccination coverage and facilitate international travel for genuine reasons, it was decided to allow the second dose before the prescribed time period of 12-16 weeks. As per the evidence available, the immunity provided by two doses of the Covishield vaccine with intervals less than 12-16 weeks would be better than partial vaccination. The decision to increase the dose interval of the Covishield vaccine was based on scientific evidence and expert opinion as per available efficacy data,” it further stated.
“No fundamental or statutory rights of the petitioner were infringed by the same. The grounds advanced by the petitioner in the writ petition were false and frivolous, hence deserves to be dismissed. The petition was totally misconceived/devoid of merits and deserved to be dismissed in the interest of justice,” the affidavit added.
(Based on inputs from ANI)