Do you need a booster shot? What AIIMS chief says
New Delhi, Nov 24: Amid growing calls for booster shots of the COVID-19 in India, AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria has said that vaccines are still protecting against the virus and there is no need for a booster dose for now.
Speaking on the need for a booster dose, AIIMS chief said there is no surge in cases as such at the moment which suggests that vaccines are still protecting against coronavirus. "Therefore, there is no need for a vaccine booster dose or third dose for now."
On third wave, Guleria said "It is unlikely that a third wave of COVID-19 of a magnitude comparable to the first and second will hit India. With time the pandemic will take an endemic form. We'll continue to get cases but the severity will be highly reduced.
Meanwhile, NITI Aayog member (Health) Dr VK Paul said the decision on a third dose should be based on science.
"There are studies being done on boosters we are going through datas and research. This is work in progress," he said, underlining the completion of second dose for India's adult population and those who have not taken vaccine making them take it is the priority for the government for now.
He also said the pandemic is not over and it won't be extinguished in future but might reach an endemic form.
If the virus at all chooses to change its characteristics and take a different dimension all our preparations could be dented, Dr Paul said.
The World Health Organisation, recently termed call for Covid-19 booster shot a scandal.
"Every day, there are six times more boosters administered globally than primary doses in low-income countries," the WHO chief said, insisting that "this is a scandal that must stop now."
"It makes no sense to give boosters to healthy adults, or to vaccinate children, when health workers, older people, and other high-risk groups around the world are still waiting for their first dose," he said.