Covid Vaccine: Booster dose can be expected after a year – AIIMS Director

Dr Randeep Guleria
Dr Randeep Guleria, Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

With the increasing pace of vaccination against the coronavirus epidemic in India, the cases of infection are also decreasing. In such a situation, people who have taken both doses of the vaccine have started demanding a booster dose (third dose) for protection. Some experts have also called for its necessity. Meanwhile, Delhi-based All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) director Dr Randeep Guleria has said that the booster dose is expected one year later.

A booster dose may be needed anytime next year- Guleria

Dr Guleria told NDTV, “We don’t have a definite answer yet, on a timeline for boosters. We can’t decide to give booster shots based on antibodies. It has to be based on time – i.e., how long has it been since you got the second dose. Normally after a year, we can start looking at booster shots,

“The timing of the second dose of vaccine is important.”

Dr Guleria said, “It is important for the booster dose to be based on timing. That is, how long has it been since you got the second dose. Usually, after a year, we can expect a booster dose.”

He said, “We need more data. Cases have increased in the UK, but hospitalizations or deaths have not increased. Britain started its vaccination in December (a month before India).”

Right now, we are also in a safe zone- Guleria

Dr Guleria said, “The low number of patients in the UK hospital means that the doses received in December are showing effect so far. and if our immunity is low, then a booster dose will be needed.”

Discussions are underway on a booster dose, and it could come sometime next year,” he said.

“Booster dose will be given to the elderly and weaker section first.”

Dr Guleria said, “We will first focus on the elderly and the more vulnerable sections, as they are at higher risk of serious infections. Similarly, their vaccination will also be started very soon to keep the children safe in the country.”

What did Dr Guleria say on the approval of children’s vaccines?

On the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) not approving ZyCov-D from Zydus Cadila and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin even after the expert panel’s recommendation, Dr Guleria said he could not answer for DCGI. He said Covaxin and ZyCov-D had been approved for children. They are waiting to be included in the vaccination campaign. DCGI will soon approve Covaxin.

Dr Guleria appealed to the people to be vigilant.

Dr Guleria has appealed to the people to take special precautions because of the festive season of Diwali. He said that there was a rapid spread of infection in West Bengal after Durga Puja. In such a situation, now people have to be especially careful about Diwali. People will have to follow the corona protocol to prevent the epidemic, get the vaccine dose on their turn and maintain distance from the hotspot areas.

What is the status of corona infection in India?

On Friday, 16,326 new cases of coronavirus infection were reported in India, and 666 patients died. With this, the total number of infected people in the country has gone up to 3,41,59,562. Of these, 4,53,708 people have lost their lives. The number of active cases has come down to 1,73,728. The government has issued a warning that people will have to take special precautions till December to avoid the third wave of the coronavirus.