The COVID Working Group led by Dr NK Arora had suggested augmentation of the gap between the first and second jabs of COVISHIELD vaccine to 12-16 weeks. This has been acknowledged by the Government of India on May 13, 2021.
Government of India has conveyed this change to States and UTs. The CoWIN portal has likewise been reconfigured to mirror this expansion of stretch for two dosages of Covishield to 12-16 weeks.
Although, there have been reports in a segment of the media recommending that individuals who had pre-booked their appointment for the second jab in under 84 days on CoWIN are being turned around from vaccination centres without getting the second jab of Covishield.
It is explained that the essential changes have now been done in the CoWIN portal. Therefore, further on the web or on-site appointments won’t be possible if the period after first jab date for a recipient is under 84 days.
Moreover, already reserved online appointments for the second jab of Covishield will stay valid and are not being dropped by COWIN. Further, the recipients are encouraged to reschedule their appointments for a later date past the 84th day from the date of first dose.
The Union Government has repeated to the States and UTs that the online appointments reserved for the second jab of COVISHELD before the change in the stretch between the two dosages of Covishield, should be honoured.
The Union Health Ministry has advised the States/UTs that the field staff might be told that, if such recipients do come for vaccination, the second Covishield jab should be managed and they should not be dismissed. They have likewise been encouraged to embrace awareness exercises to illuminate the recipients about this change.