Consider COVID-19 vaccine booster for those above 40 years, recommends INSACOG

The recommendation came amid demands for a booster dose of coronavirus vaccines by lawmakers during a discussion in the Lok Sabha on the pandemic situation in the country

Press Trust of India December 03, 2021 12:49:02 IST
Consider COVID-19 vaccine booster for those above 40 years, recommends INSACOG

A health worker prepares a dose of the Covaxin vaccine against COVID-19 at a health centre in New Delhi. AFP

New Delhi: Top Indian genome scientists have recommended a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccines for those above 40 years with a preference for the high-risk and high-exposure populations.

The recommendation was made in the weekly bulletin of the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Sequencing Consortium (INSACOG), a network of national testing labs set up by the government to monitor genomic variations of COVID-19.

"Vaccination of all remaining unvaccinated at-risk people and consideration of a booster dose for those 40 years of age and over, first targeting the most high-risk / high-exposure may be considered," the INSACOG bulletin said.

The recommendation came amid demands for a booster dose of covid vaccines by lawmakers during a discussion in the Lok Sabha on the pandemic situation in the country.

The INSACOG said genomic surveillance will be critical for early detection of the presence of this variant, to enable necessary public health measures. It also recommended monitoring travel to and from the known affected areas, and contact tracing of COVID-19 cases with an epidemiological link to the affected areas has been implemented along with increased testing.

"Vaccination of all remaining unvaccinated at-risk people and consideration of a booster dose for those 40 years of age and over, first targeting the most high-risk / high-exposure may be considered, since low levels of neutralising antibodies from current vaccines are unlikely to be sufficient to neutralise Omicron, although risk of severe disease is still likely to be reduced," it said.

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