Amid talks of a third shot of the Covid-19 vaccine, the government on Thursday said that booster doses were not the "central theme" in scientific and public healthcare discussions at the moment. ICMR DG Balram Bhargava, who was addressing a presser of the Union Health Ministry, emphasised that getting two doses of vaccination remains a "major priority".
Days back, a review by an international group of scientists published in The Lancet also stated that vaccine efficacy against severe Covid-19, even for the Delta variant, is so high that booster doses for the general population were not "appropriate" at this stage in the pandemic.
India too has been insisting on prioritising two-dose vaccination. The need for booster doses will be determined by the epidemiology of the Covid infection in the country besides the durability of protection provided by the current dosage regime of the vaccines.
"Booster doses are not the central theme at the moment in the scientific and public healthcare discussion. Getting a full vaccination of two doses remains a major priority. Several agencies have recommended that antibody levels should not be measured," Bhargava said today.
In August, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria had said there is no definite evidence to suggest currently that there is a need to give booster shots to those who have been vaccinated in the past.