There is no scientific evidence so far to support the need for a booster vaccine dose against COVID-19, Dr Balram Bhargava, Director General, ICMR, said recently underlining the completion of second dose for India’s adult population is the priority for the government for now.
According to sources, the booster dose issue is likely to be discussed in the next meeting of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation in India (NTAGI).
“Administering the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine to all adult population and ensuring that not only India but the entire world gets vaccinated is the priority of the government for now.
“More so, there is no scientific evidence so far to support the need for a booster vaccine dose against COVID-19,” Dr Bhargava said. On the probability of administering a booster dose, Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Health Minister, recently said that adequate stocks are available and the aim is to complete the vaccination of the target population with two doses. After that, a decision on booster dose would be taken based on expert recommendation, he had said.
“The government cannot take a direct decision in such a matter. When the Indian Council of Medical Research and expert team will say that a booster dose should be given, we will consider it then,” he had said, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has always depended on expert opinion, be it vaccine research, manufacturing or approval.
Edits by EP Bureau