New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: With the emergence of Omicron, the new variant of COVID-19, which is said to be more infectious than the deadly Delta variant which led to the devastating second wave in many countries including, the authorities across the globe are alarmed and have announced several restrictions and measures to stem the outbreak of this new variant.

Amid Omicron's emergence, discussions regarding the importance of the booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccines are also on the agenda of every meeting related to COVID-19. Meanwhile, several countries including the US, UK, Israel, among others have approved the COVID-19 booster for citizens with low immunity and some specific age group.

The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) on Monday met to discuss the additional COVID dose and booster doses. However, the Indian health authorities have so far not recommended the administration of booster doses to its citizens despite several demands by doctors and health experts in wake of the Omicron variant.

According to news agency ANI, in Monday's meeting of NTAGI, no final recommendation was made on additional COVID-19 vaccine dose and vaccine for children. However, both the issues were discussed in the meeting and the booster dose was not on the agenda of today's meeting.

"The meeting put light on COVID-19 vaccination, additional doses and vaccination for children but due to no consensus over the issues final recommendation couldn't be made," ANI quoted official sources as saying. As earlier, it has been reported that NTAGI will be coming with comprehensive policies for both booster dose and vaccination for children.

There is a difference between the booster dose and the additional dose. The booster dose is given after a predefined period after the primary two-dose have been given while an additional dose is given to those people who have basic problems with their immune system.

With the primary two doses, if the immune function is not built properly, the additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is given. This decision has also to be taken in the context as India reports 23 new cases of COVID-19 Omicron variant.

On administration of booster doses, the Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had recently informed the Lok Sabha that the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) and the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) were deliberating and considering scientific evidence related to this aspect.

 

(With Agency Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan