The CoWin authorities said if an online appointment has already been made for a second dose of Covishield as per the previous schedule, it would remain valid and a shot can be received as planned. However, vaccination centres are turning away even those with valid appointments and this part of the directive may need to be made clear to state health departments.
“Online appointments that have been already booked for second dose of Covishield will remain valid and are not being cancelled by CoWin. We have also asked states and UTs to honour the appointments booked prior to the change in dosing interval, mainly to avoid any inconvenience,” a senior official said.
Now on, further online or on-site appointments for second dose can be booked only with a gap of at least 84 days from the first dose. “We also urge those who have already booked an appointment for second dose, and their scheduled period is less than 84 days, to reschedule their slot,” the official added.
For instance, if you received your first dose of Covishield on April 4, CoWin will show a due date of June 27 and last date of July 25 for your second dose. Similarly, those who received the first dose of Covishield on April 8 will be now due for their second dose between July 1 and July 29.
On May 13, the Centre had extended the gap between the first and second doses of Covishield vaccine to 12-16 weeks based on recommendations of the Covid Working Group chaired by N K Arora.
“The government of India has communicated this change to states and UTs. The CoWin digital portal has also been reconfigured to reflect this extension of interval for two doses of Covishield, manufactured by Serum Institute of India to 12-16 weeks,” the health ministry said.
States have also been advised to undertake awareness activities to inform recipients about the changed dosing schedule.
The dosing schedule for Covaxin remains unchanged. The second dose of Covaxin can be taken four to six weeks after the first.