21 days ideal gap between 2 doses of Covid vaccine: Experts
As India gets readied for a massive Covid vaccination programme, heath experts on Sunday said that 21 days is an ideal gap between the first and the second booster dose, and those who get vaccinated have to maintain the same health hygiene as they are supposed to do sans vaccine for a certain time period.
Union Health Ministry Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had said that 30 crore people have been listed in prioritised population groups, which involves one crore healthcare workers, two crore personnel from the police department, armed forces, home guard, civil defence organisation and 27 crore people above the age of 50 and below 50 with co-morbidities.
The government is expected to roll out its first vaccines in the next few weeks with at least three candidates under the active consideration of India’s drug regulator.
According to Dr Manoj Goel, Director, Pulmonology at Fortis Hospital in Gurugram, after taking the first dose, the second dose has to be ideally taken on the 21st day.
“After the vaccination, one can resume their normal day to day activities. In between also, there are no guidelines to sit at home and people can carry on their usual activities by taking the basic precautions like social distancing, wearing a mask and frequent sanitising of hands,” Goel told IANS.
The Union Health Ministry had said that 1.54 lakh vaccinators or auxiliary nurse midwives will administer the Covid-19 vaccine to people under the universal immunisation programme when the vaccination process begins.
According to Dr Jyoti Mutta, Senior Consultant, Microbiology at Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute in New Delhi, there are a number of vaccines which have different schedules and these vaccine schedules are determined by clinical trials.
“Talking about Pfizer vaccine in this regard, two doses are suggested 21 days apart and two doses 28 days apart for AstraZeneca vaccine. Also, the proper rest and precautions are suggested during this period in order to avoid infection and proper care,” she told IANS.
Dr Mutta also stressed that staying at home is not particularly defined as a precautionary measure but complete care is recommended.
“Taking precautions like wearing a mask, social distancing and hand hygiene is important to avoid infection,” she noted.
Dr Neha Gupta, Infectious Diseases Physician at Medanta Hosptial in Gurugram told IANS: “Vaccine requires two doses 21 days apart and usually the protective efficacy is seven days after the second dose. So, patients need to continue precautions after the first dose of vaccine.”
There are as many as eight Covid vaccine candidates under different stages of clinical trials which could be ready for authorisation in near future.
The vaccines include Covaxin, Astrazeneca and Oxford university developed and Serum Institute of India manufactured Covishield, ZyCoV-D by Zydus Cadila, Russian vaccine candidate Sputnik-V, NVX-CoV2373 by SII, HGCO19 by Geneva, and two unlabelled vaccines – Recombinant Protein antigen-based vaccine by Biological E Limited and Inactivated rabies vector platform by Bharat Biotech Limited.
Pune-based Serum Institute of India and Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical firm Bharat Biotech have already applied to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) seeking emergency use authorisation for their potential Covid-19 vaccines.