Srinagar, Feb 16: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Tuesday said Covid-19 vaccine is more effective when the second dose is given 12 weeks after the first shot.
“The longer interval between the doses gives more protection,” said DAK President and influenza expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan.
“There is evidence that a longer interval between the first and second dose of Oxford vaccine provides a stronger immune response,” he said.
“A study published in Lancet has revealed that the vaccine efficacy was 82.4 percent among those who received the second dose after an interval of 12 weeks, whereas the efficacy was only 54.9 percent among those with an interval of less than 6 weeks.
The first dose was 76 percent effective from day 22 to 90 days post vaccination and the protection did not wane during this initial three month period.”
“Delaying the second dose would allow more people to get the first dose sooner and would save more lives,” DAK President said.
“If enough people get vaccinated quickly, we will achieve the herd immunity sooner that would bring an end to the ongoing public health crisis.”
“While the longer interval between the doses is beneficial in terms of building a broader and long lasting immune response, India continues to administer the second dose of Oxford vaccine – Covishield at 4 week interval,” he said.
“The study also showed that a single dose of the vaccine significantly reduced the transmission of the virus with 67 percent reduction in positive swabs among those vaccinated,” Dr Nisar said.
“It is the first clinical evidence so far that Covid-19 vaccine provides the sterilizing immunity that prevents the inoculated person from being able to infect others.”
“This new finding is significant because it will enable us to lift the social distancing measures and lockdowns more rapidly than would otherwise be the case,” he said.