As the number of COVID cases rise sharply across the world, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed India on Saturday, 25 December, to speak about the situation in the country and made a few big announcements, among which was a "precaution dose" for healthcare and frontline workers starting 10 January.
He also said that those above the age of 60 with other health problems can get an extra dose on their doctor's advice.
Here's what experts had said before the announcement was made.
What Are Experts Saying on Booster Shots
Talking to IANS, Dr Samiran Panda, Head, Epidemiology and Infectious diseases division at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), had said that a COVID booster dose may be introduced based on the scientific evidence, but this time our focus should be oriented on total vaccination with both doses across the nation.
Dr Ashok Seth, Chairman Pan Fortis Medical Council, had meanwhile said:
"We should not follow the US in administering the booster dose. Instead, we need to focus on second dose of vaccination which have been left behind. Once we will start administering booster dose, our mass vaccination program may be hampered which we can't bear."
Does this, then, mean that COVID vaccine booster shots could become like the flu shots, an annual affair?
"We don’t know the answer simply because longer term studies just haven’t been done," leading virologist Dr Shahid Jameel had told FIT.
"If the strain keeps changing, then I guess we will need an annual, or maybe boosters every two years, but remember, viruses cannot change endlessly," he said, adding that "there will come a time when further change is unfavourable for the virus. If that happens, then you will not need boosters."