No need of booster dose for now: AIIMS Director

All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Randeep Guleria

New Delhi, (Samajweekly) All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Randeep Guleria on Tuesday said India does not need booster dose at this time.

Guleria said that there is no surge in cases as such at the moment which suggests that vaccines are still protecting against the coronavirus.

He said: “There is no need for a vaccine booster dose or third dose for now.”

“It is unlikely that a third wave of Covid-19 of a magnitude comparable to the first and second will hit India. With time the pandemic will take an endemic form. We’ll continue to get cases but the severity will be highly reduced,” he added.

Dr. Guleria was speaking at the launch of a book “Going Viral: Making of Covaxin – The Inside Story” which has been authored by Indian Council of Medical Research Director General Dr Balram Bhargava.

The AIIMS director said that when H1N1 had hit India, vaccines were imported from foreign countries. “From importing vaccines to manufacturing our own indigenous vaccine, we have come a long way. Today, our Covid vaccines are being exported to other countries,”

On the need of Covid booster dose, NITI Aayog member (Health) Dr. VK Paul said the decision on a third dose should be based on science.

The book ‘Going Viral…’ is an attempt to take readers through the journey of developing India’s first indigenous Covid-19 vaccine. The book captures the first-hand experiences of scientists who worked round the clock to develop India’s first indigenous Covid-19 vaccine in a record time of less than eight months. The book sheds light on the resilience and courage depicted.

Talking about his book, Dr. Bhargava said: “The development of India’s indigenous vaccine Covaxin is a true example of public private-partnership marked with trust and and transparency.”

In his book, Prof (Dr.) Bhargava has also brought to the forefront some lesser-known facts behind the making of Covaxin including the innovative ways in which scientists navigated a strict nationwide lockdown to conduct India’s first seroprevalence survey. In another anecdote, the author has highlighted the important role played by 20 monkeys in ensuring that millions of Indians across the country have access to this life-saving vaccine.