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
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.
The Centre has already notified the states and Union territories that for each recipient, the third dose would be the same shot that was used for the first two doses
Pune-based Gennova Biopharmaceuticals developing vaccine for Omicron: Why this could be a game changer for India
The firm said that their mRNA vaccine, first of its kind in India, could be ready in a month or two
Omicron News LIVE Updates: Govt panel recommends market approval for Covaxin, Covishield but with conditions
Omicron News LIVE Updates: The recommendations will be sent to the Drugs Controller General of India for final approval. Covishield and Covaxin were granted emergency use authorisation on 3 January, 2021