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Covishield can be taken after 28 days, says Kerala HC

Kochi: Kerala high court has ordered the Centre to allow scheduling, via CoWIN portal, of second Covishield doses four weeks after the first, for those who wish to receive it earlier than 84 days.

According to P B Suresh Kumar, if the central and state governments allow people traveling abroad to choose early or better protection from COVID-19, there is no reason why that privilege cannot be extended to Indians who want early protection related to their employment or education.

In its order dated September 3 which was made available on Monday, the high court said that even according to the Union health ministry’s policy, people are entitled to get early vaccination, for which vaccines are being distributed via private hospitals as well. ‘The fourth respondent (Centre) is directed to make necessary provisions forthwith in the CoWIN portal, so as to enable scheduling of second dose of Covishield vaccine after four weeks of the first dose for those who want to accept the second dose after a period of four weeks in terms of the initial protocol of the vaccine,’ the court said.

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Kitex Garments Ltd, represented by advocate Blaze K Jose, asked the court for permission to administer a second dose of Covishield vaccine to its workers without waiting for 84 days. In its plea, Kitex said it had already vaccinated more than 5,000 of its workers with the first dose and had arranged for the second dose for nearly Rs 93 lakh; however, it was not able to administer it because of prevailing restrictions.

According to the Centre, the 84-day gap between two doses of Covishield was designed to increase the effectiveness of the vaccine, as recommended by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC) and based on the recommendations of the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG).


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