Right time for booster shots in India? Here's what AIIMS doctor has to say
- Notably, many countries across the world are administering booster shots of the Covid-19 vaccine, including US, Germany, Austria, Canada and France among others.
A doctor from All India Institute Of Medical Science, Delhi, on Thursday said that India can't afford to administer booster shots yet as only about 35 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated against the Covid-19 disease (Coronavirus). The doctor, who is also the professor of neurology, reasoned that the country needs to prioritise and vaccinate the remaining population first rather than giving the doses as a booster to those who have taken both shots of the vaccine.
“About 35% of our population is fully vaccinated. A considerable section still needs to be vaccinated fully. Can we afford to take away doses and give somebody who is vaccinated but needs a booster dose?” news agency ANI quoted MV Padma Srivastava as saying.
However, the question regarding the booster shot is an ethical one and is being deliberated upon, the doctor said. “I'm sure the think-tanks will make the right decision. There is a subsection of people who are immunocompromised. Enough literature shows that even after vaccines, these people aren't producing enough antibodies,” Srivastava added.
“They've been given booster doses even prior to 6 months - done in certain parts of the world. So there is scientific evidence that they would need a booster dose to get at least some immunity up. SAGE is looking into it & will come out with directives,” the doctor was further quoted as saying.
Earlier in the day, chairman and managing Director of Bharat Biotech, Dr Krishna Ella, said people will need booster doses of the Covid-19 vaccine if the virus mutates.
Talking to ANI, Dr Ella said, "If there is a mutated COVID-19 virus and a booster is required. What type of booster would be needed and how do we deliver it on a fast track basis. On that, we are working on various strategies that can be contained. Even if something comes up; we know how to handle situations."
Notably, many countries across the world are administering booster shots of the Covid-19 vaccine, including US, Germany, Austria, Canada and France among others. A booster dose is administered to a vaccinated person when the rate of immunity in them has dropped below the required levels over a period of time.