Covid-19 vaccine update: In a positive development that could boost the efforts towards Coronavirus vaccination, a Lancet study has found that a three-month interval between the two doses of Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine would be more effective and would help governments vaccinate a larger number of people in a shorter interval of time. The study has concluded that the gap between the two doses of the Oxford vaccine should be three months rather than the present gap of six weeks to increase the efficacy of the vaccine, The Indian Express reported.
Published in one of the most cited scientific journals in the world Lancet, the study has estimated that the single dose of the vaccine gives up to 76 percent protection for a period of three months. The study then suggests that the government can extend the interval between the two doses to three months and in the interim vaccinate more people with the first dose of the vaccine.
Study lead author and Oxford University Professor Andrew Pollard was quoted as saying that the findings of the study had salience for countries that had a limited supply of the vaccine. Pollard said that initially vaccinating more and more people with the single-dose may help governments vaccinate a greater share of the population in the short run. As part of the study, the scientists collated the randomised controlled trials data from South Africa, Brazil, and the United Kingdom.
The study in its analysis found that the participants who had been vaccinated twice in a period of more than 12 weeks had protection up to 81 percent. On the other hand, the participants who were vaccinated twice in quick succession of six weeks only had 55 percent protection from the disease. The study also found that the level of antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 also remained the same throughout the period of three months.
However, the study authors mentioned that they were not sure if the single dose of the vaccine would extend its protective shield for a period of more than three months as the study was conducted with a time period of up to three months only. The researchers further added that the governments should definitely vaccinate the people twice after the interval of three months has passed as in the long term the second dose would give long-lived immunity against the virus. The Oxford University-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine is being manufactured in India by the Serum Institute of India (SII) and has been named Covishield.