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No decision yet on additional or booster doses: expert group

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has told the Lok Sabha that the NTAGI and the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 are deliberating and considering scientific evidence related to the booster dose.   | Photo Credit: Murali Kumar K.

The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) echoed the stand taken by Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya in Parliament earlier this month and maintained that it will show no hurry in recommending COVID vaccine booster or additional dose for any section of the population.

The leading COVID-19 advisory group in India, did not take any decision regarding jabs for children and additional shots for the immunocompromised at a meeting earlier this week, stating that “it is awaiting more information and evidence.”

While there is a large pool of unvaccinated children between 2 and 18 years, numbering around 44 crore, “we can't hurry with these decisions,” said a member, who confirmed that the matter of additional COVID dose for immunocompromised individuals and inoculation of children were deliberated upon in a meeting of NTAGI.

An additional dose of a vaccine is different from a booster dose. While a booster dose is given to an individual after a predefined period when the immune response due to primary vaccination is presumed to have declined, additional shot is given to immunocompromised and immunosuppressed individuals when the primary schedule of inoculation does not provide adequate protection from the disease, explained an official.

Cancer patients on therapy, transplant patients and AIDS patients are among those who come under the immunocompromised and immunosuppressed categories and need additional doses of vaccine to improve their protection.

Earlier in its bulletin on November 29, the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium. (INSACOG) recommended a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccines for those above 40 years with preference to high-risk and high-exposure populations. On Saturday, however, it said their recommendation was not for the national immunization programme as many more scientific experiments are required to assess its impact.

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has told Lok Sabha that the NTAGI and the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) are deliberating and considering scientific evidence related to it.


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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 2:49:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/no-decision-yet-on-additional-or-booster-doses-expert-group/article37886234.ece

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