Bahrain Ministry of Health’s Undersecretary for Public Health and member of the Technical Consultative Committee of the Arab Health Ministers Council, Dr. Mariam Al Hajeri, has announced the extension of Covishield-AstraZeneca dosing intervals from 4 to 8 weeks.
This decision follows recommendations made by the World Health Organization (WHO) which revealed a strong correlation between longer dose intervals of between 8 and 12 weeks and greater vaccine efficacy.
Dr. Al Hajri underlined that the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE), an advisory group to the WHO, had recommended administering inoculations 4 to 12 weeks apart, with a strong recommendation for a longer dose intervals between 8 to 12 weeks apart to produce a stronger immune response.
Dr. Al Hajri noted that the Kingdom has approved the Covishield-AstraZeneca vaccine for emergency use on 21 January 2021 to expedite vaccine delivery to vulnerable groups at risk of developing complications associated with COVID-19, including the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.
The Covishield-AstraZeneca vaccine, produced by AstraZeneca in cooperation with the University of Oxford, is manufactured by the Serum Institute of India under the name ‘Covishield’.