The daily Covid-19 cases reported in the last 24 hours till Monday morning were 46,951Doonited News
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The daily Covid-19 cases reported in the last 24 hours till Monday morning were 46,951

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The interval between two doses of Covishield vaccine, used predominantly for Covid-19 vaccination in the country, could be up to eight weeks, the Centre informed the States on Monday.

The decision taken based on experts’ recommendations would help the States and Union Territories increase the vaccination coverage among the beneficiaries as a second dose can be delayed. Currently, the interval between the two shots is 28 days.

In February, a team of researchers in the UK that analysed the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine trials data — which is produced in India as Covishield by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India — confirmed that the UK government’s decision to leave 12 weeks between doses has scientific validity. Their study that appeared in the journal Lancet last month also revealed that a single vaccine dose remains effective for 12 weeks.

In India, the decision was based on the National Technical Advisory Group’s recommendations on Immunisation (NTAGI) and the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19. The revised interval is available only for Covishield, not for Covaxin, an official statement said.

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Enhancement of protection

In a letter written to Chief Secretaries of the States and Union Territories, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said scientific evidence has shown that the protection is enhanced if the second dose of Covishield is administered between six and eight weeks, but not later than eight weeks. The Bhushan letter asked the States and UTs to instruct the concerned officials accordingly to undertake necessary steps to widely disseminate the message of revised dosing interval among programme managers, vaccinators, and Covishield vaccine recipients to ensure adherence to the revised dosing interval.

Steep increase in new cases

Meanwhile, on the eve of the nation-wide lockdown anniversary, India reported a steep increase in Covid-19 cases. The daily Covid-19 cases reported in the last 24 hours till Monday morning were 46,951, the highest since November 6 last year. The new cases took the total active Covid-19 caseload in the country to 3,34,646. At 212, the number of daily deaths was also the highest Since January 8 this year.

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On Sunday, States and Union Territories carried out 4,62,157 vaccinations, helping to take the country’s total number of inoculations beyond 4.5 crore. With this, the number of beneficiaries receiving the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine crossed 3.75 crore, while close to 75 lakh people completed both the shots.

The number of daily cases in Maharashtra crossed 30,000 to touch 30,535, while in Punjab, it went further up to 2,644. Six other States reported cases more than 1,000 on Sunday. They are Kerala (1,875), Karnataka (1,715), Gujarat (1,580), Madhya Pradesh (1,322), Tamil Nadu (1,289) and Chhattisgarh (1,000). Though not yet crossed the 1,000-mark, Delhi and Haryana report a significant increase in daily cases. Uttarakhand, where Haridwar Kumbh Mela is to be held soon, is another State that is recording a steady increase in cases.

Health & Wellness

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