iNEW DELHI: The Union health ministry on Sunday clarified that all those people who had already booked online appointments for the second dose of Covishield vaccine will be able to get the shot.
The clarification comes in the wake of the government accepting an expert panel recommendation to increase the time interval between the two doses of Covishield to 12-16 weeks from the earlier 6-8 weeks.
The announcement had left some people confused who had already received the first shot and had booked themselves for the second jab based on the earlier recommended duration.
The Union health ministry said that requisite changes have now been done on the Co-WIN digital portal, as a result of which further online or on-site appointments will not be possible if the period after first dose date for a beneficiary is less than 84 days.
“The Government of India has communicated this change to states and UTs. The Co-WIN digital portal has also been reconfigured to reflect this extension of interval for two doses of Covishield, manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII) to 12-16 weeks,” the ministry said.
“However, there have been reports in a section of the media suggesting that people who had pre-booked their appointments for the second dose in less than 84 days on Co-WIN are being turned back from vaccination centres without getting the second dose of Covishield,” it said.
“Additionally, already booked online appointments for second dose of Covishield will remain valid and are not being cancelled by Co-WIN,” it said.
The ministry said that the states and UTs have been told to honour the appointments that have already been made for the second dose prior to the change in duration.
But the ministry recommended that people should reschedule their appointments for a later date beyond the 84th day from the date of first dose in view of the updated duration.
The time interval between the first and second doses of Covaxin remains at four weeks.