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Govt reconfigures CoWIN to reflect change in Covishield vaccine dose interval of 12-16 weeks

The two jabs of the Serum Institute of India (SII)-manufactured Covishield vaccine were earlier administered at a gap of six-to-eight weeks.

May 16, 2021 / 06:57 PM IST
(Representative image)

(Representative image)

Government's COVID-19 vaccination registration portal, CoWIN (COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network), is now reconfigured to reflect change in dose interval of Covishield vaccine to 12-16 weeks.

Four months into the COVID-19 vaccination drive, the Union government on May 13 accepted the recommendation made by an expert panel to increase the gap between two Covishield vaccine doses to 12-16 weeks.

The two jabs of the Serum Institute of India (SII)-manufactured vaccine were earlier administered at a gap of six-to-eight weeks.

According to the government's release already booked online appointments for second Covishield dose will remain valid and won't being cancelled by CoWIN platform. "There have been reports in a section of the media suggesting that people who had pre-booked their appointment for the second dose in less than 84 days on CoWIN are being turned back from vaccination centres without getting the second dose of Covishield," the release said.

"It is clarified that the requisite changes have now been done in the CoWIN digital portal. As a result, further online or on-site appointments will not be possible if the period after 1st dose date for a beneficiary is less than 84 days," the release added.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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It is clarified that the requisite changes have now been done in the CoWIN digital portal. As a result, further online or on-site appointments will not be possible if the period after 1st dose date for a beneficiary is less than 84 days.

However the centre advised beneficiaries to reschedule appointment for second dose of Covishield in alignment with an enhanced duration between two doses, reported news agency ANI.

"The Union Health Ministry has advised the Sates/UTs that the field staff may be instructed that, if such beneficiaries do come for vaccination, the second Covishield dose must be administered and they must not be turned away. They have also been advised to undertake awareness activities to inform the beneficiaries about this change," the release added.
Moneycontrol News
first published: May 16, 2021 06:57 pm

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