Huge third wave unlikely, no need for booster dose for now: AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria
“The vaccines are holding up, we are not seeing breakthrough infections causing a surge in our admissions, our sero-positivity rate is very high. All of these suggest that as of now, we really don’t need a booster dose,” Dr Randeep Guleria said.
All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Dr Randeep Guleria on Tuesday evening said that booster doses of the Covid-19 vaccine are not needed in India right now, focus needs to be on increasing vaccine coverage. He also said the possibility of a “huge third wave” is “declining each passing day” as vaccines have been effective in providing protection against the viral disease.
“It is unlikely that the 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,” Guleria was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
“The vaccines are holding up, we are not seeing breakthrough infections causing a surge in our admissions, our sero-positivity rate is very high. All of these suggest that as of now, we really don’t need a booster dose. We may need it in the future, that is definitely there. But as of now we don’t need a booster dose,” Dr Randeep Guleria said at the book launch event.
“We are well protected, and I think we should focus on getting more and more people to get the first and second dose because if we have that number in a sufficiently large amount, we will be well protected as a country.”
However, the AIIMS director asked people to exercise caution. “We have to be watchful and careful of all the viruses in the world in this world of quick mobility,” he said.
Guleria was speaking at the book launch of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) director general Balram Bhargava’s ‘Going Viral: Making of Covaxin - The Inside Story’.
Meanwhile, the cumulative Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the country crossed 118 crore on Wednesday, the Union Health Ministry said. Over 68 lakh vaccine doses have been administered on Tuesday till 7 pm, it said while underlining the tally is expected to increase with the compilation of the final reports for the day by in the late night.