In the wake of rising cases of Covid-19 cases in the country, the government is likely to cut the gap between the second dose of the Covid vaccine and the precaution dose or booster shot. At present, the gap between the second Covid jab and the precaution dose is nine months. According to a PTI report which quoted official sources, the government will soon announce to reduce the waiting period for booster shots to six months.
The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) which is the highest advisory body on immunisation in the country will meet on Friday to discuss whether to reduce the gap. Sources said that the group will make a recommendation to the government on lessening the gap.
Studies at ICMR and other international research institutions have suggested that antibody level wanes after about six months from the primary vaccination with both doses and giving a booster increases the immune response. All those above the age of 18 who have completed nine months after the administration of the second dose are eligible for the precaution dose.
“Taking into account the scientific evidence and findings of the studies done here and internationally, the gap between the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine and the precaution dose will most likely be reduced from the current nine months to six months soon. A final decision will be taken based on the recommendations by the NTAGI which is set to meet on Friday,” a source in the know of the developments told PTI.
India began administering precaution doses of vaccines to healthcare and frontline workers and those aged 60 and above with comorbidities from January 10. The government removed the comorbidity clause making all people aged above 60 eligible for the precaution dose in March.
India on April 10 began administering precaution doses of COVID-19 vaccines to all aged above 18 years at private vaccination centres.
With PTI Inputs