Therapy Areas: Vaccines
India may reduce interval time between AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine doses given privately
22 September 2021 -

India may allow a smaller gap between AstraZeneca's (LON:AZN) COVID-19 vaccine doses for vaccination being carried out privately, in line with a court order, Reuters news agency reported on Wednesday.

According to two sources with knowledge of the matter, private hospitals and clinics will give their paying patients the option to receive their second dose of the vaccine four weeks after the first, down from the current gap of between 12 and 16 weeks.

Early in September, the high court in the state of Kerala had ordered changes in the Indian health ministry's vaccine-booking platform to give people paying for vaccination this choice, which is already being offered to those flying abroad.

For the government's programme, the ideal gap still remains 12 weeks.

India had reportedly doubled the gap between the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine's two doses in May 2021 to make sure more people were inoculated with at least one dose when supplies were scarce at the height of the country's outbreak this year.

AstraZeneca recommends the second dose of its COVID-19 vaccine be taken four weeks after the first shot, but says on its website there is a "trend of increased efficacy with a longer than 4 week dosing interval".

The World Health Organisation recommends an interval of eight to 12 weeks, Reuters noted.