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Do we need Covid-19 booster shots? INSACOG recommends it to those at-risk, above 40 years

Google Oneindia News

New Delhi, Dec 3: The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) has recommended Covid-19 booster shots for those over 40 years of age and at-risk people, said INSACOG in a recent press release.

In its November 29 bulletin, the INSACOG said that those who are above 40 years of age and at high risk or high exposure may be considered as a priority for the booster dose.

Do we need Covid-19 booster shots? INSACOG recommends it to those at-risk, above 40 years

"Vaccination of all remaining unvaccinated at-risk people and consideration of a booster dose for those 40 years of age and over, first targeting the most high-risk or high-exposure may be considered since low levels of neutralising antibodies from current vaccines are unlikely to be sufficient to neutralise Omicron, although the risk of severe disease is still likely to be reduced," INSACOG statement said.

The body further stated, "Genomic surveillance will be critical for early detection of the presence of this variant, to enable necessary public health measures. Monitoring travel to and from the known affected areas and contact tracing of COVID-19 cases with an epidemiological link to the affected areas has been implemented along with increased testing (with the sequencing of confirmed cases and possible SGTF based rapid screening)."

Amid fears of the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, the Serum Institute of India (SII) on Thursday sought India's drug regulator's approval for the Covishield vaccine as a booster dose citing adequate stock of the vaccine in the country.

The new variant was first detected in South Africa and it was reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) on November 24. As per the WHO, its high number of mutations in spike protein could make it more transmissible than all previous strains.

Meanwhile, two cases of Omicron was detected in Bengaluru in Karnataka on Thursday. A 66-year old South African and a 46-year-old doctor have been infected by the new variant.

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