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The National Health Mission informed that online and on-site appointments for COVISHIELD vaccine beneficiaries were ruled out if the period after the first dose was less than 84 days. The instructions came after the Centre accepted the NGTAI's recommendation to increase the gap between two doses of the COVISHIELD vaccine as the efficacy rate proved to be higher with an increased gap in the interval between two doses.
National Health Mission's Additional Secretary on Sunday informed that the already booked appointments for the second dose of COVISHIELD vaccine would remain and were not being cancelled by CoWIN and advised beneficiaries to reschedule their appointment to a later date 84-days after they received their first dose. He also informed that pre-booked beneficiaries would be allowed by CoWIN to take their second dose of vaccine before the completion of 84 days after the first dose if they wished to do so. In such a case downloading the covid vaccine certificate is essential as it consists details of the date and location of the first dose and the time duration to register for second dose.
The letter written by the National Health Mission's Additional Secretary categorically asked vaccination centres to not turn away beneficiaries whose appointment for the 2nd dose of COVISHIELD had already been booked. The letter added that the field staff at the inoculation centres must be instructed to not turn away such beneficiaries and administer the second dose to them.
In March, NTAGI had revised the interval between doses from 4-6 weeks to 4-8 weeks, based on 'emerging scientific evidence'. The panel, however, recommended no change to the interval between two doses of COVAXIN. Moreover, NTAGI has also recommended deferring vaccination of those testing positive for COVID-19 by at least six months after recovery. The panel has also stated that pregnant women may be offered a choice to take any COVID-19 vaccine and that lactating women were eligible for jabs any time after delivery. These decisions come as the US has announced its plans to lift its export ban on vaccine materials to produce Covishield, which is yet to fructify. Serum Institute of India (SII) has announced that it will ramp up its manufacturing capacity to 10 crore doses per month by August.
People with a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of the vaccine or have a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of the vaccine have been advised to not take the Covishield vaccine, as per the company. It also advised people to inform the vaccinator if they have any allergies, fever, bleeding disorder or blood thinner, is immunocompromised or on any medicine that affects the immune system, are pregnant, breastfeeding, or received another COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine contains (L-Histidine, L-Histidine hydrochloride monohydrate, Magnesium chloride hexahydrate, Polysorbate 80, Ethanol, Sucrose, Sodium chloride, Disodium edetate dihydrate (EDTA), Water for injection.) COVISHIELD has the following symptoms between 2-14 days after vaccination - fever or chills; cough; shortness of breath; fatigue; muscle or body aches; headache; new loss of taste or smell; sore throat; congestion or runny nose; nausea or vomiting; diarrhoea.
COVISHIELD - a Recombinant Chimpanzee Adenovirus vector vaccine - has an efficacy of 70.42 per cent, with interim safety and immunogenicity data of Phase-II/III trials submitted to the SEC. While Covaxin - a Whole Virion Inactivated Corona Virus Vaccine - 22,500 participants vaccinated in Phase-III trials and was found to be safe as per the data available to date.