Andhra Pradesh

COVID-19: is it time for the booster dose?

With the threat from the newly mutated Coronavirus, Omicron, looming large, experts from the health sector feel that the government should now seriously think of opening up the booster dose.

Omicron is already driving the fourth wave in South Africa and some other countries, and could very well be the driving force for the third wave in India.

Though not much is still known about the virus, it is established that its transmissibility is higher than the Delta variant that shook the nation during the second wave from March to August this year.

According to P.V. Sudhakar, District COVID Special Officer and Principal of Andhra Medical College, experts and scientists across the globe have already indicated that this new mutation has high transmissible rate, but its severity is still not known. “As of now, it is found that the severity has been mild, but we never know,” he said.

Booster dose

Senior doctors from Andhra Medical College and King George Hospital say the time has come for opening up the booster dose. The booster is nothing but a third jab of what has already been taken. If one has taken two doses of Covishield, then a third one can be taken as a booster, said Dr K. Raju, senior pulmonologist.

In the U.S., the government has already started the booster dose for health workers, people above 65 years and those who are immunosuppressed, said Dr. Sudhakar.

But it is learnt that the Union government is in dilemma to open up the booster dose, as it may create a scramble for it, leaving people who are yet to take the second jab high and dry.

As per the CoWIN dashboard on Wednesday, the total doses administered in Inida was about 124.77 crore, which includes 79.12 crore who have taken at least one dose and 45.54 crores who have taken both the doses.

In Andhra Pradesh, the total doses administered is 5.99 crore, which includes 3.49 crore who have taken at least one dose and 2.49 crore, who have taken both the jabs.

Experts from the health sector feel that the campaign for the second dose and the booster dose can run simultaneously. Apart from the booster dose, adhering to COVID appropriate behaviour such as wearing of mask, avoiding public gatherings and sanitising the hands frequently can keep the third wave at bay. This apart, some travel restrictions and enforcing protocols at airports, railway stations and bus stations, is the need of the hour, said Dr. Sudhakar.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 7:22:27 AM |

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