Expert Panel To Meet Today To Discuss Covid-19 Booster

New Delhi: The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) will be meeting today to discuss the requirement of a booster shot for high-risk people, reported ANI. The meeting comes amid the increasing Omicron cases in India.

So far, 23 Omicron cases have been confirmed in India. Recently, the Serum Institute of India (SII) which developed the Covishield vaccine had sought the approval of the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for a Covishield booster. The SII had cited the availability of adequate doses and the rise of demand for boosters due to increasing  Omicron cases in the country.

Also Read | US FDA Authorises Pfizer Covid Booster Dose For Those Aged 16 & 17 Amid Omicron Threat

However, no conclusion was made in the last meeting. The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) had held a meeting earlier this week to discuss vaccination for children and additional doses. A source told the news agency, ANI that the booster was not on the agenda in the meeting.

“The meeting put light on COVID-19 vaccination, additional doses, and vaccination for children but due to no consensus over the issues final recommendation couldn’t be made,” sources had told ANI.

The difference between a booster and an additional dose is that a booster is given after a predefined period after the first two doses, and the additional dose is given to those with weak immune systems. If the immune system of an individual is not built properly, an additional dose is given.

Meanwhile, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories had also sought the phase-3 trial of the Sputnik Light booster dose.  The Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had recently said in Lok Sabha that the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) and the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) are considering scientific aspects of a booster shot, and its requirement. 

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