In a crucial intervention, the Kerala High Court on Monday ruled that the second dose of Covishield can be taken 28 days of taking the first dose in the private sector, but this time frame will not be applicable to the free supply of vaccines.
The court noted that there have been exemptions given to the current 84 day period between the two doses to those officials who go for meetings and to students who are studying abroad, and thus, it is not fair to delay it as the vaccines have been already purchased by companies.
The Kitex group of companies had, in its petition filed last month, told the court that they have purchased the vaccine doses to be administered to its employees.
After giving the first dose, according to the Centre, the second dose could be given only after 84 days, which was contested by Kitex, which pointed out that since they have already purchased the vaccines and if the administration is going to be delayed, then the vaccines could get spoiled and would have to be thrown away.
On Monday, the Centre strongly opposed this, but the court overruled their objections, pointing out that while already there have been exemptions given to officials and students, it is not fair to delay the second dose to the employees and it can be given.
It, however, pointed out this 28 day period will not be available in the free supply quota of the government.
In its previous hearing, the court had asked the Centre to explain why is there a gap of 84 days to take the second dose of Covishield vaccine.
It also asked if it was possible to reduce the time gap if vaccines are sourced by parties themselves, and also asked the Centre whether the time gap was extended because it would lead to better efficacy or was it because of the problems in sourcing vaccines in time.