No Need for Booster Dose of COVID Vaccine, Huge Third Wave Unlikely: AIIMS Chief
AIIMS Chief Dr Randeep Guleria stressed that it is "very unlikely that we will see a huge third wave.”
All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Dr Randeep Guleria on Tuesday, 23 November, evening said that there is a low possibility of a "huge third wave" of COVID-19 in India and that booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines will not be needed in the country.
"There is no surge of COVID-19 cases as of now. So, there is no need for a booster dose in India for now," Dr Guleria said, reported Livemint.
The AIIMS Chief was speaking at the launch of Going Viral, a book on the creation of Covaxin, penned by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Dr Balram Bhargava.
According to a report by The Indian Express, Dr Guleria said that the vaccines are proving effective and India is not seeing any breakthrough infections causing a surge in hospitalisations. He also said that the country's sero-positivity rate is very high, noting that all of these point to the fact that there is no need for a booster dose at the moment.
Speaking about the possibility of a third wave, Dr Guleria said that India is beginning to see low vaccine hesitancy as the vaccination progresses and stressed that it is "very unlikely that we will see a huge third wave.”
He added that the disease will become endemic and people will continue to fall sick but not with the severity seen in the first and second waves, the report said.
Meanwhile, speaking at the event, Bhargava stated that there is no scientific evidence so far to prove the need for a booster vaccine dose.
Change in Stance on Booster Vaccine Doses
Earlier this year, in October, Dr Guleria had told NDTV that it might be essential to provide booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine in a year's time.
He emphasised that the need for booster shots will depend on the duration of protection provided by two doses of the vaccine against severe COVID-19.
He said there is no definite answer on the timeline for booster shots, because the criteria to their necessity is not antibodies, but the time period since a person received the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
(With inputs from Livemint, NDTV, and The Indian Express.)
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