Puran Gurung/ Thimphu In the literature of COVID-19 studies, scientists and researchers confirm that the COVID-19 second booster dose is strong when the gap is longer between the doses. For the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines, data from clinical trials suggest that a single dose gives good protection against illness for more than 12 weeks. The booster effect of the second dose is stronger when the gap between doses is greater longer. Scientists and researchers are also yet to announce the ideal gap as it takes time to test the effect, and data also suggests that giving the second dose too soon is risky because the immune system needs time to fully react to the first dose so that it can then get the maximum benefit from the second booster dose. The health minister, Lyonpo Dasho Dechen Wangmo, confirmed longer gap boosts the immunity effect of the second booster dose. "By looking at the literature of COVID-19 vaccine study, a longer gap is recommended for a second booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine." Lyonpo also added that the evidence is positive about longer delay studying the literature of COVID-19 research. In the wake of public outrage on missing the 8-12 weeks for the second dose, the government is trying its best to get the vaccines for the second dose. "We are trying our best to get the second dose for Bhutan; we have approached multiple countries. People should also understand that other countries have barely inoculated two per cent of its population with the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and the COVID-19 vaccine has also become a rare commodity," said the Health Minister, Lyonpo Dasho Dechen Wangmo. However, the health minister also states that, 'having saidlongthe longer gap is important, the government is trying to procure the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine at the earliest and inoculate the people at the right time' and that 'the government is reaching out to multiple countries both personally and professionally. The long gap between the doses makes the COVID-19 second booster dose strong, confirms the Health Secretary Dr Pandup Tshering. It was also confirmed by a member of the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NI-TAG) for COVID-19 vaccination. The member also added that 'the delay for the second dose by a few weeks will not have any implication. Rather, immunologically, the gap between the two doses is good for immune response'. However, leaving the second dose too late is also risky because the effects of the first dose might start to weaken, informs the NI-TAG's member. The member further adds that giving the second dose too soon is also risky because the immune system needs time to fully react to the first dose to get the maximum benefit from the second dose'. Meanwhile, the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NI-TAG) for COVID-19 vaccination has not yet confirmed the ideal gap, and the evidence is positive about the longer delay. For the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, data from clinical trials suggest that a single dose gives good protection against illness for more than 12 weeks and that the booster effect of the second dose is stronger when the gap between doses is longer.
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