UP top pandemic expert Dr Anthoby Fauci has backed the Indian government’s move to extend the gap between doses of the Covishield coronavirus vaccine calling it a ” right approach” under the present circumstances. Speaking with news agency ANI, Dr Fauci said “When you are in a very difficult situation, the way you are in India, you have to try and figure out ways to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as you can, so I believe that it is a reasonable approach to do.”
Claiming the ‘extended interval’ as beneficial, Dr Fauci said that, “When you don’t have enough vaccines, extending duration between 1st & 2nd dose to get more people to at least get 1st dose is a reasonable approach. Unlikely that long delay would have a negative effect on vaccine efficacy.”
Fauci told the news agency that extending the gap would improve the vaccine’s efficacy, adding that he didn’t view it as a cover-up for the shortage of doses.
“The fact that you delay it that long, it is very unlikely that it would have a negative effect on the efficacy of the vaccine. I would not refer to it as a cover-up when you don’t have enough vaccines,” he said.
Dr Fauci’s remarks came a day after Centre extended the gap between two doses of Covishield vaccine to 12-16 weeks from the existing six-eight weeks period. Notably, this is the second time India has widened the gap betwen two dosage of Covishield vaccine in last three months. Centre’s move has drawn flak as critics dubbed it as a cover-up for not having enough vaccines.
The White House cheief medical advise also said India’s vaccine drive will get a boost with the roll out of Russia’s Sputnik V as the country will now have three vaccines to fight the pandemic.