RS Sharma, chairman of the Empowered Group on Covid vaccination, told news agency ANI on Thursday, that Cowin portal where people can register for getting vaccines against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), does not now schedule an appointment for the second dose of shot.
Therefore, “You should schedule it yourself as per the recommended gap between the two doses of the vaccine,” he said four days after the central government told states and Union territories that the two doses of Covishield vaccine must be administered in a gap of four to eight weeks that too instead of the earlier prescribed interval of four to six weeks.
The Union ministry of health and family welfare informed that this move comes in following a “scientific evidence” that that protection is enhanced if the second dose of Covishield is administered between six to eight weeks.
CoWin’ has been accorded by the government as the backbone of India’s vaccination drive. However, the new interval applies to Covishield that is India’s version of the Oxford-AstraZeneca AZD1222 vaccine, and not Covaxin, the other shot which has been indigenously developed by Hyderabad base-pharma firm Bharat Biotech.
The Cowin portal is available on the Aarogya Setu app on which people need to choose the vaccination option and login option. Then they can schedule their timings and appointments to get the second dose of the vaccine. For this people need to carry their photo ID to the center they have applied for the appointment.
Now, the government has allowed all the citizens above the age of 45 years to get vaccine doses against the Covid-19. Without showing the comorbidities certificate they can avail the shots from April 1 onwards.
India has, however, administered 5.21 crore vaccines so far.
India has decided to not expand vaccine exports for now and first meet domestic needs following a massive spike in coronavirus cases. There will be no ban on exports, though supplies to other countries will be made only after meeting domestic needs, they said.