Missed Second Dose? COVID-19 Vaccine Schedule Restart Not Required: Say Experts
Updated On Sep 08, 2021
Health experts have suggested people who have missed their second COVID-19 vaccine not to restart their vaccination schedule. Top officials state that there are many single-dosers whose second shots have been delayed. Such people need not to worry even if the gap between two doses increases to 8-10 weeks, be it in the case of Covishield or Covaxin.
The vaccine shortage in India may have caused single-dosers to worry about gaining utmost protection against the deadly coronavirus, health experts are ensuring such beneficiaries to take the second shot as it will still be effective. Also, it is being recommended not to repeat the vaccine schedule due to delay in getting the second dose.
Dr. Vineeta Bal, Immunologist from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Pune informed that the immune response triggered by the first COVID-19 vaccine dose does not disappear in case of a delay in taking the second vaccine shot. She stated that a booster dose enhances the quality as well as the quantity of the first dose response.
It must be noted that even though the prime COVID-19 vaccine dose remains in the body, it has its own limited half-life. All antibodies get degraded within the body. In addition, the immune response generated by the first jab may start tapering after 4-5 months.
International trials found that Covishield remains effective even when the second shot is administered as late as after 12 weeks. Covaxin was not subjected to a test like such. However, Covaxin data published so far suggests a minimum interval of 4-6 weeks, nonetheless a longer gap could be more effective.
Dr. Naveen Thacker, Executive Director of the International Pediatric Association and a member of the Gujarat Covid task force reportedly stated that irrespective of the vaccine, it is always better to have a bit longer gap in both shots.
Experts advise that people who get infected with COVID-19 even after getting the first jab and take 6-10 weeks to recover, should still take the second dose and complete the vaccination schedule. Dr. Subhash Salunke, advisor to the state on COVID Control shared the same viewpoint.
You may also like to read:
Disclaimer: This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.