14-week gap sufficient – Medical experts
Medical professionals have recommended that the second dose of the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine can be given, even after 14 weeks, without compromising the already builtup immunity in those who have received the first dose of the vaccine. This was revealed while concerns were being raised among the public as to whether those who had received the first dose of the AstraZeneca/ COVISHIELD vaccine will get the second dose following the 10-week gap marked on their vaccination cards.
However, medical professionals are of the view that it is crucial to get at least one dose into more people as quickly as possible, to get a greater proportion of the population, at least partially vaccinated. According to them the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are very effective in reducing symptoms, hospitalisations and death among those who are infected, for a period up to two months following the first dose.
However, they have found AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD supports the same positive effects with a longer interval between the first and second doses. Already a number of countries have extended the gap between the two doses to even 16 weeks. Canada’s vaccination advisors have adopted a policy of ‘firstdose-first’, saying delaying the second shot will bring faster population-level protection.
“Informed, expert opinion based on principles of immunology indicates that a longer interval between priming and boosting doses of a vaccine series results in a better, more durable response.” Meanwhile, Spain has also extended the gap between the first and second doses of AstraZeneca vaccine in order to inoculate a greater number of people against the virus as soon as possible.