India will unveil its policy on additional and booster doses of Covid-19 vaccines in the next two weeks. This apart, a comprehensive plan to inoculate 44 crore children aged below 18 years will soon be made public, news agency ANI quoted Dr NK Arora, India’s Covid-19 task force head, as saying.
“A comprehensive policy on additional and booster doses for Covid-19 will be made public in the next 2 weeks by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation of India,” Arora said.
On the issue of vaccinating children, Arora said a policy would soon be released that will prioritise kids with comorbidities for vaccination. “A comprehensive plan for immunising 44 crore children below the age of 18 years will be made public soon; prioritisation process is underway so that children with comorbidities be given vaccination, followed by healthy children,” Arora added.
This came days after a new Covid variant, Omicron, with a “horrific" spike profile was detected in South Africa, sparking concerns worldwide.
News18 had on November 18 reported that India is likely to form a policy on administering the third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. An expert group has been working on formulating a policy document on the third vaccine dose in the country. This third dose could be first recommended as an additional dose and not a booster shot.
There have been a lot of discussions around booster shots recently, with experts weighing in on the option to ramp up immunity especially among immuno-compromised individuals. In October, a WHO panel had recommended an additional dose of vaccines listed by WHO for severely or moderately immunocompromised vaccinated people.
Recently, AIIMS, Delhi, director Dr Randeep Guleria said that India does not need to roll out booster shots of the Covid-19 vaccine for now as there is no surge in Covid cases in the country India at present, indicating that the shots already administered are offering protection against the virus.