Those who were fully vaccinated at the start of the vaccination campaign may need a third dose. What is India’s plan?


Countries like the UK, US, Australia and Canada have recommended a booster for seniors, healthcare workers and people with co-morbidities who received their second dose at least ago. six months. It has been almost two months since the booster injections began to find regulatory support globally, but India’s position remains unclear. The data is telling: 3.53 crore people received their second dose until May 8, six months ago. Almost half of them are elderly and many remaining beneficiaries are health workers and frontline workers. Less than 25% of current vaccine stocks – 15.6 crore in doses are racked up with state governments – will be extinguished even though each of this 3.5 crore cohort receives medical advice to take a booster and then report for it. his vaccine.

YOU reported that experts are worried about the expiration of vaccine stocks, a horrendous waste of resources if this were to happen. The situation of large stocks of vaccines and those about to expire easily allows social medicine – where governments currently prioritize first and second doses – to coexist with personal medicine, where injections are given to those who need it. worried about the time elapsed since the second dose, hence decreased antibodies and disease / occupational risk.

A lasting lesson from the Covid pandemic is to abandon rigid classifications and adapt to fluid situations. GoI’s original plan to completely immunize priority groups before the general population has to be abandoned. The resulting demand for vaccines allowed GoI to increase its purchasing, which organically boosted vax supplies. In private medicine, citizens pursue an array of wellness choices, such as getting a flu shot or doing executive checkups. The Covid vaccination has also reached such a stage where India can meet individual preferences. Many people with mild and moderate symptoms at risk of severe Covid have opted for the cocktail of antibodies in consultation with their doctors.

Western regulators have started approving booster shots after breakthrough infections, and scientific studies have indicated a decrease in the vaccine’s effectiveness over time. While the Covid cases are admittedly on a downward trajectory in India, triumphalist political tendencies are manifesting themselves again. But we still don’t know enough about this disease to claim victory. To make informed choices, future serological surveys should place special emphasis on fully vaccinated individuals to understand the duration of antibody persistence. Mix and match studies certifying safety and immunogenicity will provide a greater choice of vaccines in the booster program. Like the West, India can also easily continue universal immunization of adults and children along with booster doses.


This article was published as an editorial opinion in the print edition of The Times of India.


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