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The study, however, says vaccines will continue to provide sufficient protection against the severity of the disease and fatality, based on breakthrough infections data they analysed.
With Omicron on the prowl and decision pending on vaccinating children, government may wait before using the one crore doses of ZyCoV-D, the only vaccine licensed for use in minors
Covishield is administered in India at an interval of 12-16 weeks, and Covaxin at 4-6 weeks. Study, yet to be peer-reviewed, also says vaccines are effective against Delta and other variants.
The SII will commence Covid vaccine export under the COVAX programme from 23 November. Nepal, Tajikistan, Mozambique and Bangladesh are the 4 nations that will receive the doses.
SII's Director of Government and Regulatory Affairs is learnt to have recently communicated to Union Health Ministry that it has a manufactured stock of 24,89,15,000 Covishield doses.
According to Dr Subhash Salunkhe, one reason for increasing Covishield dose gap was vaccine shortfall, says ‘there should be more latitude in this now that situation has eased’.
The fact that it’s taken so long for Covaxin to get approval casts doubt on not only Bharat Biotech, but also the regulatory process in India.
The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, is the first to show across an entire country how effective vaccines are at preventing death from the Delta variant.
During a call, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya also discussed the resumption of supply of Covishield to COVAX facility.
Ten lakh doses of Covaxin would be sent to Iran and 10 lakh doses of Covishield will be exported each to Myanmar, Nepal & Bangladesh under the ‘Vaccine Maitri’ programme in October.