COVID-19 Vaccine Update: Efficacy of AstraZeneca's Covishield Rises to 90% if Doses Given 2–3 Months Apart, Says Adar Poonawalla

Team Latestly
·2-min read

Pune, April 6: Adar Poonwalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India, the world's biggest vaccine maker, has said that the efficacy of Covishield, a vaccine against coronavirus (COVID-19), rises to as much as 90 per cent if the two shots are separated by about 2.5-3 months. Covishield is developed by the Oxford University in collaboration with pharma giant AstraZeneca. Adar Poonawalla's Serum Institute of India is manufacturing the COVID-19 vaccine. Adar Poonawalla Warns of Delays in Supply of COVID-19 Vaccine Due to US Ban on Export of Certain Raw Materials.

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"One arm of trials, in which doses were given one month apart, was 60-70 per cent effective. And there was another group of few thousand patients where they gave a gap of 2-3 months between the two doses. That is where they found the efficacy to be 90 per cent," Poonawalla Serum Institute CEO Poonawalla Apprises Home Minister About COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout.

His comments came weeks after the Indian government increased the gap between the first and second doses of Covishield to up to eight weeks. This was recommended by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration after data from trials in other countries suggested that the efficacy of the vaccine increases when the second dose is given more than six weeks after the first.

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Poonawalla also said the one dose of Covishield gives significant protection from COVID-19 to people below 50. "About 70 per cent of people are fully protected with one dose, but the second dose is necessary for long-term immunity protection," he was quoted as saying. He underlined that wearing of face mask and social distancing are important even if one takes the two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.