The government changed its strategy for the countrywide Covid vaccine drive, doubling the gap of three weeks between the first and the second dose to six weeks, as more jabs started arriving in the country to address the vaccine shortage in parts of the country.
The country, which has just subdued the third wave of the infectious disease, thanks to the strict precautionary measures taken by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), is currently struggling with maintaining ample doses for a smooth vaccination drive.
To handle the issue, the government last week placed vaccine purchase orders on an emergency basis, and an agreement was reached with China for supply of millions of doses. Simultaneously, with the imports, NCOC sources said, the duration of the second dose of the vaccine had also been extended.
Hitherto, the two-dose vaccine had been administered with a gap of three weeks. However, from now on, according to the sources, the gap has been extended to six weeks. Last week, Dr Faisal Sultan, the de facto health minister, had said that the gap of six to eight weeks made no difference.