ICMR-NIV director says Covid-19 booster dose will definitely be recommended

While the US has approved the booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine that will start rolling out from September, National Institute of Virology director Dr. Priya Abraham said that the booster dose will definitely be recommended in India in future. The official stand of the government regarding booster dose is that the issue is being closely studied.

In an interview with India Science, Dr Abraham said studies on booster dose have been going on abroad and at least seven different vaccines have been tried out for booster dose. But for now, the WHO has put a stop to it until more countries catch up with vaccination because there is an alarming vaccine gap between high-income and low-income nations. However in future, “recommendations for boosters will definitely come.”

A booster dose is an additional dose to increase the antibody level which might lower after a certain period of time following the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Earlier, AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria had said that booster doses might become essential because of the emerging variants of the virus. Meanwhile, the panel is out on whether this will be a yearly necessity or not or whether everybody will require a booster shot against Covid-19.

Currently, the WHO has opposed booster doses as many poor countries are still without vaccines. Recently, WHO chief scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan said that available data do not show that boosters are needed.

However, in India, Serum Institute of India has reportedly administered booster doses to its employees. Serum’s Chairman Cyrus Poonawalla has also taken a booster dose, and said, “After six months, the antibodies go down and that is why I have taken the third dose. We have given the third dose to our seven to eight thousand SII employees. For those who have completed the second dose, it is my request to take a booster dose (third dose) after six months,” he added as quoted, by news agency PTI

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