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Amid Omicron threat, India's genome scientists recommend booster shot for those above 40

The advice came as parliamentarians demanded a booster dosage of Covid vaccinations during a debate in the Lok Sabha on the country's pandemic condition.

Omicron India genome scientists recommend booster shot for those above 40 gcw
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New Delhi, First Published Dec 3, 2021, 5:45 PM IST
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Top Indian genome experts have suggested a booster dose of Covid-19 vaccinations for those over the age of 40, with a preference for high-risk, high-exposure populations. The advice was issued in the weekly bulletin of the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Sequencing Consortium (INSACOG), a government-created network of national testing facilities to monitor Covid-19 genetic variants.

According to the INSACOG advisory, immunisation of all remaining unvaccinated at-risk individuals, as well as consideration of a booster dose for those 40 years of age and beyond, may be considered, commencing with the most high-risk or high-exposure individuals. The advice came as parliamentarians demanded a booster dosage of Covid vaccinations during a debate in the Lok Sabha on the country's pandemic condition.

Genetic surveillance, according to INSACOG, will be required for early detection of the existence of this mutation, allowing relevant public health interventions to be performed. It also advised that monitoring travel to and from known impacted locations and contact tracing of Covid-19 cases with an epidemiological link to the afflicted areas and additional testing has been adopted.

Also Read | Omicron in Karnataka: Mandatory vaccine for parents of children and public entering malls and theatres

It went on to say that all remaining unvaccinated at-risk persons should be vaccinated and that a booster dose should be considered for those aged 40 and over. Because low levels of neutralising antibodies from existing vaccinations are unlikely to be adequate to neutralise Omicron, the government should initially target the most high-risk / high-exposure populations, even though the risk of severe illness is still likely to be decreased. This comes amid MPs' calls for a booster dosage of COVID-19 vaccinations during a debate in the Lok Sabha on India's pandemic crisis. In the aftermath of the Omicron danger, the Serum Institute of India requested authorisation from India's pharmaceuticals authority for a booster dosage of Covishield on Thursday.

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