Dr NK Arora, Chairman of the COVID-19 Working Group of the NTAGI, said the increase in the gap between two doses of Covishield is based on scientific evidence. He further added that there was no dissent among NTAGI members regarding the decision.
His statement came after Reuters reported that three scientists of the NTAGI were not in favour of doubling the interval between two doses of the Covishield vaccine.
On May 13, the health ministry had increased the gap between two doses of the vaccine, from the recommended interval of six to eight weeks to 12-16 weeks. Dr NK Arora said this decision was taken in a transparent manner.
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said, "India has a robust mechanism to evaluate data and it is unfortunate that such an important issue is being politicised."
Doctor NK Arora, Head of the Operations Research Group, discussed this further. Dr Arora is also a member of the National COVID Task Force. He is also the advisor to the AEFI National Committee.
“I must say that nothing is cast in stone. Based on emerging data, we are continuously reviewing. We should not create confusion. Because the vaccines behave differently in different settings, these decisions are highly scientific, context-specific and we have confidence that whatever decision the technical group is taking, it is with full wisdom and looking at all the data in its entirety,” he said.
For the full interview, watch the accompanying video.
(Edited by : Bivekananda Biswas)
First Published: IST