Eight weeks’ gap for second dose of COVID-19 vaccine

The government has decided to administer the second dose of vaccine against COVID-19 after eight weeks of receiving the first jab.

Those who have received the first dose will be administered the second dose between eight to 12 weeks. The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) made the decision to this effect yesterday as per the recommendation of the COVID-19 Vaccination Technical Advisory Committee.

“We have decided to implement the Committee’s suggestion. We will soon release the dates for administering the second dose,” said MoHP spokesperson Jageshwar Gautam.

Earlier, the Ministry had said that those who had received the first dose of the vaccine could get the second dose 28 days after the first jab.

According to the Head of Child Welfare and Immunization Division under Health Services Department, Dr Jhalak Gautam, the recommendation was based on the decision of the World Health Organization’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE).

SAGE has stated that the second dose would be more effective if administered within eight to 12 weeks of the first jab.

“Pushing the date for the second dose is said to help in better development of antibodies,” COVID-19 Vaccine Technical Advisory Committee Coordinator Shyamraj Upreti said.

“We have recommended MoHP to administer second dose of the vaccines on the basis of SAGE’s latest revised decision,” Upreti said.