Home National & International NewsMOHFW news Central govt launches study to assess need of booster shots as Omicron spikes in India

Central govt launches study to assess need of booster shots as Omicron spikes in India

by Vaishali Sharma

The Narendra Modi government has launched a study to assess the need of booster doses against COVID-19 in India, News18.com has learnt.

The multi-center trial, led by the Department of Biotechnology’s top institute Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), plans to enrol nearly 3,000 people who had their second dose of COVID-19 vaccination six months ago. DBT supported the research, which looked at three vaccines used in India: Covishield, Covaxin, and Sputnik V.

The emergence of Omicron, a novel coronavirus mutation, has prompted requests for booster doses across the country. A booster dose’s goal is to restore vaccination efficacy. However, it is unclear whether the vaccine-induced immunity in India has begun to wane or whether supplemental doses are required urgently.

“It is an academic study where the idea is to understand the duration of immunity in the real-world scenario. Blood samples have been drawn to assess the cell-mediated immunity,” a senior official who, heads one of the sites enrolled under the study, told News18.com.

“We will analyse the T and B cell response and antibodies, and what is the protection level after six months of receiving the second dose. This will enhance our understanding on the requirement of booster doses in India,” the official added.

The central government has so far not taken any decision on booster doses. The Modi government appointed National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) is slated to meet soon to take a call on the same.

The study has been designed to include four cohorts — people above 40 years of age, people below 40 years of age, people infected with COVID-19 prior to vaccination, and people with co-morbid conditions.

Hospital sites involved in the study are collecting blood samples from Delhi-NCR, Gurugram and Faridabad. “A simple questionnaire has been created to collect the information on their medical history, vaccination status and other clinical information,” the source said.

The sites will be submitting the report on blood samples along with the analysis on the requirement of booster doses in India.

“We will submit the report on the requirement of boosters in India. Meanwhile, we have been conducting weekly discussions with DBT’s THSTI and sending the blood samples.”

India has reported 122 Omicron cases in last 24 hours.

Source: Firstpost

You may also like