WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus opposes widespread use of boosters for healthy people, as poor countries need to receive doses.
The United States and its health agency Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that they will give a third shot of COVID-19 Commentary (aka booster shot) for those who need it most – the immunocompromised.
Even the Czech Republic announced that it would offer a booster shot to anyone who has already been vaccinated with one or two doses. Germany and France have also jumped on the bandwagon.
A booster shot is an additional dose of vaccine that is given periodically to ‘boost’ the immune system.
Where does India stand on booster shot offerings?
Indian ICMR-NIV Director Dr Priya Abraham said in an interview that there are trials that are going on in other countries.
She said, “Studies on booster doses are underway overseas and at least seven different vaccines have been tried for booster doses. Now, WHO has stopped this until more countries have been vaccinated.” That’s because there is a dangerous vaccine gap between high-income and low-income countries.”
However, Abraham said, ‘Recommendations for boosters will definitely come in the future.
Recently, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, while talking to reporters in Budapest, said that he is disappointed that while many countries are struggling to give first and second doses to their citizens, Rich countries are stockpiling excess.
He said he was against it Extensive use of boosters For healthy people, because poor countries need to receive supplements.
He has asked these countries that have additional doses “to share what can be used for boosters with other countries so that (they) can increase their first and second vaccination coverage.”
He has also called for a two-month moratorium on booster shots, at least until the end of September, to allow countries to catch up.
in an interview with WireDr Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist of the World Health Organisation, echoed similar sentiments. He told journalist Karan Thapar that there are scientific and ethical and moral reasons not to rush into the booster.
“… so it would also be in the interests of the countries that now have additional doses, to send those doses through Covax to the countries that desperately need them,” she said.
What about the third wave in India?
NS new York Times informed of That the fourth wave is hitting America. The combination of the delta variant and the fall in vaccination numbers is again leading to an increase in COVID cases.
In India, we have vaccinated 67 crore people till date and while the total cases are high, they are not very worrying.
Abraham said, “New variants will keep coming. We have two weapons which are the biggest protection. These are – wearing masks properly and actively encouraging everyone to get vaccinated. Won’t be.”
An ICMR study said that there is a possibility of a third wave in India which may occur between September and October but it may be less severe than the wave in May-June.
The study also noted that Delhi, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh may see a decline in cases or at least may not be hit as badly as the previous wave.
Dr Samiran Panda, Head of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases (ECD), ICMR The Times of India“No one can predict the third wave across the country. Now this will only make sense if district or state-specific data is used for specific estimates. The wave can raise its head only if the states lift the restrictions prematurely. “
Swaminathan also said that no one has a “crystal ball” and it is impossible to predict the third wave.
“It will be impossible to predict when, where the third wave will be upon us and if a third wave will occur. However, you can make an educated guess at some of the variables that impact transmission,” she said. .
Given the size of India’s population and the varying immunity status across the country, it is likely that we will continue to see a rise and fall in the number of cases across the country.
“As far as India is concerned what is happening and due to the size of India and the diversity of population in different regions and the state of immunity in different parts of the country, it is quite possible that the situation may continue like this in the country. With fluctuations in different parts of the U.S., particularly where there are more vulnerable populations, so those groups that were probably less affected by the first and second waves or areas with low levels of vaccine coverage, we move on to the next peaks and troughs. could see for several months,” she said.
She said she hoped that by the end of 2022 “we will be in a position that we have achieved vaccine coverage, such as 70 percent, and then countries can go back to normal”.
new vaccines in india
Currently, we have three approved vaccines in India that are being given to citizens. They are – Kovishield of Serum Institute, Kovaxin of Bharat Biotech and Sputnik V. of Russia.
Apart from these, other vaccines will be made available soon. zydus cadilla vaccine The first would be a DNA vaccine that would be available for use. It is expected to launch by the end of this month.
Another vaccine is the mRNA vaccine, Biological-E Vaccine from Genoa Biopharmaceuticals Ltd. Serum Institute of India is working to provide Novovax and an intranasal vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech.
The effectiveness of vaccines against the delta variant
The new delta variant has been detected in most countries around the world. It is thought to be more contagious and more than 2x more contagious than the previous forms. Some data has shown that it can also spread to vaccinated people, leading to success cases and increased transmission potential.
Abraham said, “At the NIV we have studied this variant (delta). We have studied the antibodies produced in the body of vaccinated people and tested it against this variant. It has been found that against this variant. The efficacy of the antibody is reduced. Two to three fold.”
Many of the available vaccines won’t protect you from the virus, but they can reduce the severity of infection, keep you out of the hospital, and increase your chances of survival.
“Even so, vaccines are still protective against variants. They may show slightly less efficacy, but vaccines are very important for preventing severe forms of the disease, which can cause patients to be hospitalized and even die. So, whatever the type, the vaccine is so far protective against everyone, including the delta variant. So, there should be no hesitation.”