The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Sunday set the record straight on the need of booster shots of COVID-19 vaccine in India.
ICMR underlined that the policy formulation and decision are based on the scientific evidence and at present, “the scientific evidence from within the country does not underline the need for a booster dose,” Dr Samiran Hand, Head of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases Division, Indian Council of Medical Research told news agency ANI.
80 per cent complete vaccination need of the hour: ICMR
ICMR’s Dr Samiran Handa added that the need of the hour is to attain 80 per cent coverage or more among all Indian people with two doses of vaccine. “Reaching out to over 80% of eligible individuals is public health priority now,” Dr Handa further told news agency ANI.
COVID booster dose policy likely by the end of month: Report
According to a Times of India report, a policy on booster doses of anti COVID-19 vaccines is likely to be announced by the end of November. The report quoted a member of The National Technical Advisory Group of Immunisation (NTAGI) saying that a comprehensive policy is likely to come out based on Indian epidemiology and the pandemic situation and ‘not based on other nations’.
Booster doses for all adults approved in the US
Last Friday, the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expanded the approval for booster shot doses of anti COVID-19 vaccine to all adults aged 18 and above. This means that all adults who received either a dose of the Pfizer or Moderna anti-COVID vaccines are eligible to get a booster dose at least six months after their second dose.
Which other countries have approved booster vaccine dose?
The EU nations, such as Austria, Germany and Italy are offering booster doses to all adults. While Sweden and Spain are giving booster doses to vulnerable groups such as the elderly and those with existing health conditions.
Israel, the UK, South Korea, Turkey, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay are also administering booster doses to their vulnerable population groups.