The efficacy of the Covishield vaccine goes up drastically if the gap between two doses is increased, said Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla.
During an Exclusive Interview with India Today, Poonawalla said that if the second dose will be taken within a month of the first dose the efficacy will be around 70 percent, however if there is a gap of about 3 months the efficacy goes up to 90 percent.
#EXCLUSIVE | The longer gap you keep between the doses of corona vaccine, the better the efficacy results will be: @AdarPoonawalla— IndiaToday (@IndiaToday) January 3, 2021
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His remarks follow a statement by AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot, who said that the company has worked out a "winning formula to get efficacy up there with everybody else. Efficacy outcomes of AstraZeneca's vaccine, co-developed with Oxford University, triggered controversy after it claimed that a dosing error accelerated the effectiveness of the vaccine.
Clearing doubts about Covishield, Poonawalla said, “I am just echoing the statements that came out from Oxford and AstraZeneca that during the surveys it has been found out that if the second dose will be taken within a month of the first dose the efficacy will be around 70 percent, however if there is a gap of about 3 months the efficacy goes up to 90 percent”.
“This is not only related to covid vaccine but if you look at other vaccines, the more the gap will be between the doses more effective they will be”, he added.
During the Interview Poonawalla was asked how effective the first dose of covishield vaccine would be and how much helpful it will be in improving the immunity if only a single dose is taken.
He replied, “We found excellent response among the people below the age of 50 after taking the first dose. Different people with different age groups will respond differently but we can say even with one dose after a month there is excellent protection against the disease. However the second dose is necessary for long term immunity protection and for those people who have not responded so well to the first dose”.
“Even after the second dose people need to have precautions like wearing masks, social distancing and others because it’s a terrible disease. We need these precautions till we reach a level of herd immunity”, her further added.