According to sources, the issue of the booster dose will likely be discussed at the next India National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NTAGI) meeting.
“Administering the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to the entire adult population and ensuring that not only India but the whole world gets vaccinated is the government’s priority at the moment. “
“More so, there is so far no scientific evidence to support the need for a booster dose of Covid-19 vaccine,” Bhargava told PTI.
Regarding the likelihood of giving a booster dose, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya recently said that sufficient stocks are available and the goal is to complete the vaccination of the target population with two doses. After that, a decision on the booster dose would be made based on the expert recommendation, he said.
“The government cannot make a direct decision in such a case. When the Indian Council of Medical Research and the team of experts say that a booster dose needs to be given, then we will consider it,” he said. He said, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has always depended on expert opinion, whether it is vaccine research, manufacture or approval.
According to officials, around 82% of the eligible population in India received the first dose of the vaccine while around 43% were fully immunized.
The total number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has exceeded 116.87 crore, according to provisional reports until 7 a.m.
The government has launched a month-long “Har Ghar Dastak” campaign for home vaccination against COVID-19 for those who have not yet taken a dose and for those whose second dose is late.
Officials say more than 12 million beneficiaries are late for their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine after the prescribed interval between the two doses expires.