No booster plan yet for 45-plus with conditions, Health News, ET HealthWorld

No booster plan yet for 45-plus with conditionsThe government has no immediate plans to open precaution doses for people above 45 with comorbidities. Government officials say they are treading with caution on the third dose in absence of data. India began administering precaution doses of Covid-19 vaccine to healthcare workers, frontline workers and those aged 60 and above with comorbidities from January 10 amid the Omicron-fuelled surge.

While India has followed a step-wise graded approach in offering vaccination to various age groups. For the precaution doses though, there is no plan yet to include other age groups. “We have not started any discussions regarding opening precaution doses to other age groups like people above 45 with comorbidities,” a senior government official said, adding, that there is no data that support that the third dose is extremely necessary.

“There is no strategy in the works as of now. A strategy for giving boosters must be well thought of. There is no discussion yet. There are studies which are ongoing on booster doses and we would want to wait for their results,” said a member of National Technical Advisory Board on Immunisation (NTAGI).

Experts also believe that the extended interval gap of Covishield may have worked as a booster.

“The initial phase-3 trial of the vaccine had shown to be more effective if the interval between two doses was increased. We have maintained the interval of 3-4 months between two doses and the national test positivity rate started gradually coming down as the vaccine coverage increased across the country,” NK Arora, chair, India’s Covid-19 working group, told ET in an interview last month.

Over 50 lakh healthcare, frontline workers and citizens aged 60 years and above have been administered the precaution dose of Covid-19 vaccine since January 10, Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Tuesday.