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Amidst Omicron Variant Concern, Covid-19 Third Dose Policy Likely by Mid-December

Many fear that the omicron variant could spread quickly even in vaccinated populations.  (Image: Reuters/File)

Many fear that the omicron variant could spread quickly even in vaccinated populations. (Image: Reuters/File)

An expert group is working on a document on third dose, which will take into account who it should be administered to, whether a booster shot is required for healthy individuals.

Amidst concerns over the new Omicron variant, India’s comprehensive policy on third Covid-19 vaccine dose will be drawn in the next two to three weeks, News18 has learnt.

An expert group has been working on formulating a policy document on the third vaccine dose in the country, according to government sources.

Whether an additional dose is required for immunocompromised people? Or a booster dose is required for healthy people, when should a third dose be given? If it is to be given and who should it be administered to? What should the gap between a second and a third dose be? Will be deliberated on while framing the policy.

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News18 had exclusively reported on November 18 that India is likely to form a policy on administering the third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

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.

People whose immune systems are compromised because of illnesses such as cancer or organ transplant are not protected significantly from a standard two-dose vaccination programme. In that case, it’s important to administer the third dose to immunocompromised people before healthy population.

Despite travel restrictions, there are concerns that Omicron variant has already been widely spread. While the World Health Organisation has said it will take a few weeks to examine the variant of concern, it has also said Omicron poses a “very high” global risk and countries must be prepared for it.

Amidst concern over B.1.1.5529 or Omicron, countries have sped up their booster programme.

An advisory body in the UK, which is offering third dose to all adults, has also recommended the second dose of vaccine for children aged 12 to 15.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the US has strengthened its recommendation on Covid booster shots, and have told people they “should” get a booster dose.

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first published:November 30, 2021, 13:19 IST