New Delhi: Considering the vaccine shortage in India, White House Chief Medical adviser Dr Anthony Fauci is of the opinion that the gap between two doses of the Covishield vaccine can be extended.
In a notification, the Centre has extended the gap between the first and second doses of the Covishield vaccines to 12-16 weeks from the existing 6-8 weeks.
A way out as a solution was inevitable when found in a difficult situation and the shortage of vaccines was such India now faces, thus the gap extension has been validated as a reasonable approach, Fauci said.
Dr Fauci underlined vaccinating more people as quickly as possible while the country is slipping into a drastic COVID situation. He also termed this 'extended interval' as beneficial from the efficacy standpoint.
"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," Dr Fauci told ANI.
This is for the second time in three months that Covishield dosage intervals have been widened and this move has once again garnered criticism, as a cover-up for not having enough vaccines for the people in India.
India is most likely to roll out Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus to be administered to citizens starting next week. With this, India will now have three vaccines to boost its mega vaccination drive which was recently opened for those above 18 years.
When asked about the efficacy of the Sputnik V Vaccine, "I've heard about the Sputnik, is that it seems to be quite efficacious, at a high level of close to 90 per cent or so," Dr Fauci responded to ANI.