Talks of booster Covid vaccine dose in India not pertinent at present, says Union Health Ministry

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Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and ICMR DG Balram Bhargava (File Photos/ANI)
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and ICMR DG Balram Bhargava (File Photos/ANI)

By Shalini Bhardwaj

New Delhi [India], September 30 (ANI): Underlining that more than 95 per cent of the antibodies persist for over a year among COVID-19 vaccinated persons as per some studies, the Union Health Ministry on Thursday cleared the air on booster dose, saying talks in this regard are not pertinent at present.

Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) Director-General Dr Balram Bhargava informed that the call of the hour is to give the two-dose vaccination.

"We have had some studies in India, including Bengaluru, where some hospitals have found that more than 95 per cent of the antibodies persist for over a year. Therefore, the talk of a booster dose is not pertinent," said Bhargava during a press briefing.

"Currently, the talk of the booster is not pertinent. The call of the hour is to give the two-dose vaccination or which is the full vaccination. That is our agenda and that has to be continued," he added.

India's cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage has reached nearly 89 crore doses, the Union Health Ministry informed on Thursday. More than 58 lakh vaccination doses have been administered till 7 PM.

India's COVID-19 vaccination coverage has reached nearly 89 crores (88,96,14,483) today.

World Health Organisation (WHO) would take a decision on Emergency Use Listing (EUL) to Covaxin, a vaccine developed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Bharat Biotech, said Bhargava.

"All the data has been given on which clearance will be given by WHO. The data is being looked at, WHO will take a decision," he said.

The Union Health Ministry has now urged states where healthcare workers have not yet received their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine to speed up the process by using line-lists generated by the Co-WIN platform.

According to the data given by the Union Ministry of Health, around 85 per cent of healthcare workers have got their second COVID-19 dose, even though the vaccination of healthcare workers was prioritised in India since the commencement of vaccination drive in January this year.

India would have 27-28 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses of Serum Institute of India's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin in the month of October, said government sources. (ANI)

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