Decision On Which Vaccines Will Be Given As Boosters Within 2 Days

Decision On Which Vaccines Will Be Given As Boosters Within 2 Days

India will be soon starting the booster shots for senior citizens.

New Delhi:

A decision on which vaccines will be given as boosters will be taken within two days, Dr NK Arora, chairman of the country’s Covid Task Force, told NDTV today.

In the midst of a worrying surge, booster shots for health and frontline workers and those above 60 will start from January 10. 

Today, vaccination for the 15-18 age group began, about a year after the government kicked off the world’s biggest inoculation drive. While the teenagers are being given Covaxin, it’s not clear which vaccines will be given as booster shots.

“‘So we have five-six vaccines now. But the decision is for adults, which includes our frontline health workers and other service providers plus those (who are) plus 60 plus and (with) co-morbidities. The vaccine to be given will be decided, I think by tomorrow or day after and basically based on the science of what would be the best one and available experience within the country, and it will be transparently available and informed to the community,” Dr Arora told NDTV today in an exclusive interview.

Corbevax and Covovax are the two new vaccines that the government cleared recently for emergency use. Covishield and Sputnik are the other vaccines being given to adults presently.

Can the new vaccines be considered for booster shots? ”So I would not be able to answer that question. At this time, as I said in the next two days, a decision is going to be made. And as new evidence appears, and we should also be cognizant that both these vaccines have also been evaluated in children. So, these are vaccines with very wide kind of usage possible.”

India is in the third wave of Covid, Dr Arora confirmed, adding that Omicron – which has propelled a coronavirus spike worldwide – is also by far the dominant strain in the country’s metros.

Some studies that have been conducted in the United Kingdom – where the new variant is driving an uptick in infections – show a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine can provide up to 88 per cent protection against hospitalisation from infection by Omicron.

In India, will the booster shots be given to other age groups soon? ”So we will take the decision based on the best scientific evidence, right. We also know that people across the world who are getting boosters or if you have got boosters, or third dose, the breakthrough infection due to Omicron is taking place. We have examples of UK, we have examples of USA, and Israel is going in for the fourth dose also. So this is very rapidly changing scientific scenario, and a public health scenario, we will take all these factors into cognizance before taking a decision,” Dr Arora told NDTV today.

The country registered over 33,000 fresh infections today. Till a few days ago, the daily surge had been below the 10,000-mark.

Several states have now brought back restrictions to check the spread.


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