Second Sputnik ‘jab’ can be given up to 12 weeks after first dose
There is currently a delay in the shipment of a batch of the second doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine but Advisor to the Ministry of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, highlighted that people who are due to receive this second dose can wait up to a maximum of twelve weeks, instead of just four weeks as written on their vaccination cards.
On Thursday night, the Ministry of Health announced that it is deferring the administration of the second doses of the Sputnik V vaccine following a delay in the shipment of the Russian made vaccines.
The ministry said those persons whose scheduled time is up for the second dose of this vaccine can wait for up to an additional eight weeks. The ministry expects the second doses to arrive in Guyana next week.
On Friday, during an interview with the News Room, Dr. Ramsammy explained that there is no need to be worried if people do not receive their second dose of the Sputnik vaccines on their due date. Currently, on the COVID-19 vaccination cards, individuals who receive their first jab of the Sputnik V vaccine are asked to return four weeks after.
“With the new advisory coming out from the developer, there is a new interval of four to 12 weeks so there is no big problem in terms of waiting for a few days or for a week or two to receive your sputnik second dose because you have an additional eight weeks to do so,” Dr Ramsammy explained.
According to a press statement from the Gamaleya Research Centre, which developed the Sputnik V vaccine, it is possible to increase the minimum interval between the first and second vaccine shots from the earlier approved 21 days up to three months.
“Extending the interval will not affect the vaccine-induced immune response, and, in some cases, will enhance and prolong it,” Director of the Gamaleya Research Centre, Dr. Alexander Gintsburg was quoted as saying.
Importantly, it was noted that the increase in the interval from four weeks to up to about 12 weeks (or three months) came from the centere’s experience in using vaccines using the identical adenovirus platform and from successful mass vaccination campaigns in Russia and numerous other countries.
For clarity, Dr. Ramsammy explained the dosing intervals for each of the three vaccines being used locally. For the Sinopharm vaccine, an individual should not exceed four weeks without taking the second dose; while for the AstraZeneca and Sputnik vaccines, an individual should not exceed 12 weeks without taking the second dose.
Importantly, the second dose for the AstraZeneca vaccine can be taken between eight to twelve weeks after the first dose while the Sputnik V vaccine can be taken between four to twelve weeks after the first dose.
Already, Guyana has received 205,000 doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine out of an expected 800,000 doses purchased by the government. Of this amount, 149,000 are the first dose while 58,000 are the second dose, or the booster shot required to extend an individual’s immunity.
Unlike the AstraZeneca and Sinopharm vaccines also used locally, the second dose of the Sputnik vaccine is different from the first, Dr. Ramsammy explained too.