The Serum Institute of India (SII) has urged union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya to consider reducing the gap between the second and the precaution dose of Covishield from the current nine months to three, in line with the Centre’s revised guidelines for officials on election duty, official sources said yesterday.
The company also requested the minister to allow it to administer Covishield’s precaution dose for all individuals aged above 18 years.
In a letter to Mandaviya, Prakash Kumar Singh, Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs, SII, is learned to state that the third dose of COVID-19 vaccine is being administered within six months of the second dose in various countries and this schedule is giving good results to control the infection, an official source said.
Singh also mentioned that private companies, educational institutions, social organisations, central government organisations as well as public undertaking companies, etc are continuously requesting the firm for the third dose of Covishield for their staff members and families.
He referred to the union health ministry’s letter dated 21st January, according to which the precaution dose can be administered three months after the second dose of the vaccine was given to officials and staff deployed on election duty in the poll-bound states of Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. For this, necessary changes have been made on the CoWIN portal to facilitate early administration of the precaution dose.
Till 28th January, more than one crore people were administered the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine out of which more than 90 lakh doses were of Covishield.
“In view of the above facts, we request for your kind intervention and consideration on our following submissions: The administration of third dose of our Covishield vaccine should be allowed for all individuals above the age of 18 years.
“The gap between second and third dose to be reduced and the administration of third dose of Covishield vaccine to be allowed after the completion of three months in line with the revised guidelines of GoI for the officials and staff deployed on election duty,” the official source quoted Singh as having said in the letter.
“Sir, it is the need of the hour and in the interest of the public at large… This will help to control the unpredictable and fast spread of various strains of COVID-19 which is disrupting economy and social stability of our country,” Singh said in the letter.