New Delhi: The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) is meeting Monday to discuss and deliberate the issue of administering an ‘extra’ dose of Covid-19 vaccine to immunocompromised individuals, PTI news agency reported.
The NTAGI will also come out with a comprehensive policy regarding childhood vaccination, according to reports. The decision comes amid the emergence of the newly mutated SARS-CoV-2 strain, the Omicron variant, in the country, with a total of 21.
NTAGI to discuss the problem of administering an extra dose to immunocompromised
The health minister, Mansukh Mandaviya, had recently informed the Lok Sabha about issues related to the administration of booster doses.
He informed the Lok Sabha that scientific evidence regarding this aspect was being considered and considered by the NTAGI and the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC).
Citing an official source, the PTI report said, “For now, the issue of the booster dose is off the agenda as studies are underway to determine its need and value.”
The official source said the issue of administering an additional dose of Covid-19 to immunocompromised and immunocompromised individuals will be discussed at the NTAGI meeting scheduled for December 6.
INSACOG recommended booster dose for people over 40 years old
The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG) in its November 29 bulletin recommended a booster dose of Covid-19 vaccines for people over 40 years of age. INSACOG noted that preference should be given to high-risk, high-exposure populations.
Who needs an extra dose?
An additional dose, or a third dose of vaccine, is needed for immunocompromised and immunocompromised individuals, such as cancer patients in treatment, transplant patients, AIDS patients, among others, to enhance their protection.
Vaccination remains one of the strongest pillars of protection against disease and infection, experts say, even amid the emergence of new variants such as Omicron.
The Union Department of Health said in a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) that some of the mutations reported on the SARS-CoV-2 spike gene may reduce the efficacy of existing vaccines, even in the absence of evidence that existing vaccines vaccines do not work on Omicron.
“However, vaccine is also protected by antibodies and by cellular immunity, which is expected to be relatively better preserved. Therefore, vaccines are expected to still protect against serious diseases and vaccination with the available vaccines is crucial. but not vaccinated, one should be vaccinated,” the ministry said.
Based on the observed mutations, predicted features of increased transmission and immune evasion, and preliminary evidence of harmful change in Covid-19 epidemiology, such as increased reinfections, Omicron has been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).
According to the health agency, definitive evidence of increased remission and immune evasion is awaited.
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