HEOC advises not to delay 2nd dose beyond eight weeks

The Health Emergency Operation Centre (HEOC) has advised the public against delaying the second dose of the COVISHIELD vaccine beyond the eight weeks between the two doses.

The Maldives commenced its vaccine campaign on February 1st, and is currently on the second round of vaccination. While HPA this week began administering the second dose of the vaccine for those who received the first dose during the initial round, HPA is advising the public on who are eligible to receive the second shot.

HEOC's Spokesperson, Dr. Nazla Rafeeq said the duration between the administration of two doses was decided after extensive research. Although the second shot can be received between eight to twelve weeks of receiving the first shot, Maldives is recommending to get the final shot after eight weeks, said Nazla. Nazla warned that there is a chance that those who received the first dose may become infected by the virus if they delay the second shot for more than eight weeks after the initial dose, as the anti-body response decreases after that.

Nazla said some people tested positive for the virus after they received the first dose of the vaccine. In such cases, they will receive the second dose 28 days after they tested positive for the virus, said Nazla.

Maldives is using China's Sinopharm vaccine in its second round of inoculation. The waiting period between the two doses of the vaccine is four weeks.