A comprehensive policy on additional and booster doses for COVID-19 will be made public in the next two weeks by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) of India, informed Dr N K Arora, India’s COVID-19 Task Force Chairman on Monday, news agency ANI reported.
Dr Arora’s comments come amid the precautionary measures being taken by the Indian government over the new COVID variant ‘Omicron’.
“There is a difference between booster dose and additional dose. A booster dose is given in a predefined period after two primary doses. Whereas, an additional dose is only given to those people who have problems with their immune function even after the primary doses. If a person’s immune function is not appropriately built you give them an additional dose. So these are two different things,” he added.
On the issue of vaccination of Children, Dr Arora said, “As I have repeatedly been saying that children are our most important asset and we have developed a comprehensive plan for immunising our 44 crore children below the age of 18 years. A prioritisation process is also being built so that children with co-morbidities will be given priority and healthy children will be vaccinated. This plan will be made public very soon. ZyCoV-D , Covaxin, Corbevax and then mRNA vaccine are available for children and I will say it again that vaccines will be available in sufficient quantity for children also.”
India on Monday issued revised guidelines for international travellers in wake of the new COVID-19 variant, the Omicron variant. The new guidelines require all travellers coming to India from ‘at-risk’ countries to mandatorily undergo COVID-19 testing at the airport on arrival irrespective of the vaccination status.
India reported as many as 8,309 new COVID-19 cases and 236 deaths in the last 24 hours, said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday. With this, the active caseload in the country has now reached 1,03,859, which is the lowest in the last 544 days.
Meanwhile, over 122.41 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered across the country so far under the nationwide vaccination drive.
Besides, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Sunday wrote to all States/UTs over the Omicron variant of Covid-19, asking them to enforce intensive containment & active surveillance measures and also increase coverage of vaccination.
The WHO, on November 27, named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as ‘Omicron’.
COVID: Top Global Developments
– The World Health Organization has urged countries across the world not to impose travel bans on southern African countries due to the ongoing concerns over the new COVID-19 variant Omicron.
– Several nations, including the US, Britain, Germany, Singapore, Israel, France, Italy, Austria, Canada, Netherlands and Nepal were among those that have restricted air travel, from South Africa and nearby nations.