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Govt accepts recommendation for more gap for Covishield doses

The Centre on Thursday approved the gap between the first dose and the second dose of a Covid-19 vaccine Covishield based on the recommendation of expert panel. The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) had recommended that the gap between the two doses of Covishield can be further extended to 12 to 16 weeks. The NTAGI recommendation was accepted by the Union health ministry.

The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) panel has, however, kept the dosage interval for Covaxin unchanged. NTAGI has also recommended that those who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are waiting to take the vaccine should defer vaccination for six months after recovery.   It said that pregnant women may be offered the choice to take any COVID-19 vaccine and that lactating women can be inoculated any time after delivery. The recommendations of the NTAGI will be sent to the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19.

Bharat Biotech has been granted permission to conduct Phase- II and III trials of COVID vaccine Covaxin for the age group of two to 18 years. The expert panel of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation has recommended the conduct of trials. The Drugs Controller General of India has accepted the recommendation of Subject Expert Committee, SEC. The trial will be conducted in 525 healthy volunteers.During the trial, the two doses of vaccine will be administered to the volunteers. The gap between the first and second dose will be 28 days.The Government has said that Made in India Ventilators have strengthened infrastructure of hospitals for effective COVID management. The Union Health Ministry said the Centre has been supporting the efforts of States and Union Territories for effective management of COVID patients in hospital care, under the ‘Whole of Government' approach since last year.

Meanwhile, the Union Government is continuously engaged in the allocation and supply of medical equipment and medicines to the States and Union Territories received from the various countries. The Health and Family Welfare Ministry has said that a total of nine thousand 284 Oxygen Concentrators, over seven thousand Oxygen Cylinders, 19 Oxygen Generation Plants, five thousand 933 ventilators and BiPAP machines and more than three lakh 44 thousand Remdesivir vials have been dispatched to the States and Union Territories so far.The Health Ministry said, global aid has been delivered to the States and Union Territories to strengthen and supplement their COVID response. The Central Government is ensuring a streamlined and fast delivery of the global aid through faster custom clearances.

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