The central government, via an affidavit, today informed the Kerala High Court that its decision to fix a gap of 84 days for the second dose of AstraZeneca's Covishield Covid-19 vaccine was based on the chances of better efficacy and expert scientific advice. Meanwhile, the government is planning to reduce the interval for the second dose of Covishield, CNBC TV reported quoting 'sources'.
Yesterday, the Kerala High Court, while hearing a petition from the Kochi based Kitex Garments, asked the central government about the criteria fixed for an 84-day interval, and whether the availability of vaccine was the reason behind fixing a long interval.
The company approached the court, requesting to direct the government to allow early second dose vaccination, as it had procured 12,000 doses to vaccinate all its employees. The procurement was done before the gap was extended to 84 days from the earlier 45 days, Kitex told the court.
While replying to the court's directive to respond on a different petition that prayed for a third dose for going abroad, the central government informed that current rules in India do not allow the third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. It said studies are underway and that it is yet to get any directive from the experts to allow the third vaccine.
A resident of Kannur in Kerala had approached the court saying he had two doses of Covaxin but was denied permission to enter Saudi Arabia as the vaccine was not approved in that country. Hence, the court should direct the government, allowing him to take a fresh vaccine with acceptance in Saudi Arabia, demanded the petitioner.
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