New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The COVID-19 vaccination seems to be the only way out of this deadly pandemic which has so far claimed over 51 lakh lives across the globe and has afflicted nearly 26 crore people. India had started its vaccination drive against the coronavirus in January this year and has so far inoculated more than 110 crore people with at least 1 dose of the vaccine.

Now, as the calls to provide booster shots grow louder in India, the government is reportedly mulling a policy on the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. According to a report by News18, quoting a top government official, a key meeting will take place next week in which to discuss the policy framework to administer a third dose or booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The report further stated that an expert panel of the government is working to formulate the policy on the third dose of the vaccine in the country. It is expected that the government will first recommend the third dose as an additional shot and not a booster shot. The additional dose is administered to immunocompromised people while a booster shot is given to healthy people after a few months of receiving the second dose, according to sources.

What is a booster shot?

In medical terminology, a booster shot is an additional administration of a vaccine after an earlier dose. It is given to increase the immune response against the virus. Typically, you would get a booster shot after the immunity from the initial dose(s) naturally starts to wane. The booster is designed to help people maintain their level of immunity for longer.

Which countries are administering COVID Booster Shot?

The US on Friday authorized boosters of the Pfizer or BioNTech and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines for all adults. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded emergency use authorization for booster doses of both the mRNA vaccines beyond who was previously eligible -- boosters had been authorized for anyone 65 years and older who has been vaccinated with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines at least six months ago and for certain adults at high risk of infection or of severe disease.

Apart from the US, 35 other countries have also started to administer booster shots to their citizens. Canada is planning to recommend booster shots for those people who are severely or moderately immunocompromised. A similar recommendation was made by the European Union’s (EU) drug regulator last month. While, countries including Austria, Germany and Italy are offering booster shots to all adult populations, some including Sweden and Spain have targeted booster doses at certain population groups.

Apart from them Israel, the UK, South Korea, Turkey, France, Uruguay, Chile and Brazil are also administering booster doses. As of now, Israel, Chile and Uruguay have administered the highest number of booster doses per 100 people.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan