Do we all need to take booster doses? What Health Minister says
India will make a decision on the booster dose of COVID vaccines once the study on their effectiveness on the new Omicron strain is completed and experts give their opinions, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya informed the Lok Sabha on Friday.
He said the country trusts its scientists and the booster policy will be based on their suggestions following appropriate research. Vaccination for children below 18 years will also be decided on expert advice.
“We have initiated a study immediately and as of now, there are 36 labs in India where ‘Genome Sequencing’ has been done. These labs can do 30,000 genome sequencing every day and we have been trying to tie up with private labs to increase the capacity,” Mandavia reportedly said, adding that “we all want the country to achieve 100 per cent vaccination and we all (MPs) should make people aware about getting vaccinated”.
Not just India but many nations are studying the effectiveness of the existing vaccines on the new variant which surfaced on November 1 and was reported in South Africa on November 24. Since then, it has been found in 59 countries so far.
In India, Mandaviya informed the House, 23 cases of Omicron are under observation, and expert teams have been monitoring their treatment and studying the hospitalisation status in other countries.
Replying to Congress MP Manish Tewari, who wanted to know whether a study has been conducted on the side-effects of vaccination, the health minister said no such study had been made. “With great difficulty, the people have come out from vaccine hesitancy, so we do not want to get a study as of now barring some exceptional cases. We want to get the vaccination of all eligible populations with both doses as soon as possible,” he said, according to media reports.