Amid rising cases of COVID-19 and global concerns over the Omicron strain, the Serum Institute of India (SII) has sought approval from India's drug regulator for Covishield as a booster dose, stating that there is no shortage of the vaccine in the country, official sources were quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Prakash Kumar Singh, the Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs at SII, in an application to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on Tuesday, 30 November, informed that the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has already approved the booster dose of AstraZeneca ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine.
Singh is learnt to have said in the application that "People of our country as well as citizens of other countries who have already been fully vaccinated with two doses of Covishield are also continuously requesting our firm for booster doses," PTI reported.
Further, Singh claimed that it is the need of the hour and a matter of right to health of every individual that they should not be deprived of a third dose/booster dose to protect themselves during the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Kerala, Rajasthan, Karnataka, and Chhattisgarh, have already asked the Union government to decide on booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
Earlier, the Delhi High Court on 25 November, had directed the Centre to clarify its stand on booster doses, adding that it does not want a second-wave-like situation on account of being conservative.
For now, the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization and National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 are evaluating scientific evidence for the need and justification for a booster dose, PTI reported.
(With inputs from PTI.)