Emphasising on importance of booster shots, Soumya Swaminathanthe, former Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) chief, said that boosters are important to boost waning immunity, especially for vulnerable people
Booster shots are important as countries are likely to see waves of Covid-19 infection every four to six months, World Health Organization’s (WHO) chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan told News18.com.
The third dose is important, especially for vulnerable people, Swaminathan said.
Emphasising the importance of booster shots, the former Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) chief said “boosters are important to boost waning immunity, especially in the vulnerable age groups”.
“One is likely to see waves every four to six months, the intensity depends on how many susceptible people there are in the population.”
India has been registering an upward trend in Covid infections, after registering a lull period, since the beginning of June.
India reported 8,582 new Covid-19 cases and four deaths, according to data released by the Union Health Ministry on Sunday morning. The active cases increased to 44,513.
The top scientist said there are several reasons behind the fresh surge in cases.
“Sub-variants like BA 4 and 5 are more transmissible,” she said, adding the other reason behind “waning immunity”.
Also, “people’s behaviour” is responsible for the fresh surge. “Crowding with no masks indoors,” she said.
When asked what the government can do to increase the uptake of boosters, she said that “it needs to be explained that three doses are needed for a strong long lasting immunity.”
The uptake remains low across India. Overall in India, data shows, around 15% of the beneficiaries above 60 years have received the booster shot, whereas less than 1% of beneficiaries have received the shot in the age group of 45-59 years and 18-44 years.
A few states with relatively higher coverage of eligible population (18+ years) with booster doses are Ladakh (31%), Andhra Pradesh (10%), Andaman & Nicobar Islands (9%), Lakshadweep, Sikkim and Delhi (approximately 8%).
Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand have the lowest coverage in the country, standing at less than 2% of the eligible population.
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