Karan Thapar and Dr K. Srinath Reddy. Photo: The Wire
In a 25-minute interview to Karan Thapar for The Wire, Dr K. Srinath Reddy, who used to be head of the Department of Cardiology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) before he became the president of the Public Health Foundation of India, says he has read and thoroughly studied the Public Health England report about the B.1.617.2 variant of COVID-19, which was first identified in India. He explained that the 33% estimated protection from one dose of Covishield against B.1.617.2 is a point estimate which falls within an uncertainty band stretching from 20.6% at the lower end to 44.3% at the upper end. He said even if one were to go by the upper-end estimate of 44.3%, that is still a level of protection well below the WHO’s required minimum of 50%. Therefore, he is ready to accept the PHE study conclusion that one jab of Covishield provides insufficient and inadequate protection against B.1.617.2. This is why he believes the gap between the two jabs must be reduced to eight weeks. It’s on this basis he has called for the government to reverse its two-week-old vaccination policy.
Watch the interview for complete details.