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When to get the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine? Read on to find out

The Central government, last week, increased the gap between Covishield vaccine doses to 12-16 weeks.

May 18, 2021 / 07:22 PM IST
Representative image

Representative image

As India struggles with an unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases, the country is also carrying out its inoculation drive which has now been opened for everyone above the age of 18 years.

Preparing for second dose?

Part of the population above 60 years and those over 45 years with comorbidities started receiving the jab from March 1. If you are waiting to receive your second dose, read on.

The Central government, last week, increased the gap between 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.

Plan your Covishield vaccine second dose:


COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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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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Plan your Covishield vaccine second dose

Meanwhile, the interval for the second dose of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin remains four to six weeks.

The increase in dosage interval for Covishield was suggested by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) to the Centre's COVID-19 Working Group, claiming that it would provide "better results."

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

For those who haven't scheduled their second dose of Covishield online or on-site appointments, it will not be possible to get the jab if the period after 1st dose is less than 84 days.

However, already booked online appointments for the second dose of Covishield will remain valid and are not being cancelled by CoWIN.

The decision to increase the gap also comes amid reports of vaccine shortages in a number of states. Maharashtra, the worst-affected state by the second pandemic wave, announced on May 11 that it would be prioritising the second doses for 45 plus age group by temporarily pausing the immunisation drive for 18-44 age group.

Vaccination after COVID infection

A government panel has recommended that those who have recovered from COVID-19 should delay their COVID vaccine for six to nine months after infection. The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) said, as reported by Network 18.

Earlier, the suggested gap by NTAGI panel was for six months. The panel has said that increasing the gap between having the infection and getting the first jab can further help increase antibodies, the report added.
Moneycontrol News
first published: May 18, 2021 04:32 pm

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