Hyderabad: In order to boost better immunity, a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will likely be given to population that is vulnerable in the state and across the country.
Recently, the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) gave its nod for the use of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Covid vaccines as additional dose on certain immunocompromised individuals.
“Third doses are not currently recommended in many countries. But it should be considered. Different vaccines need to be evaluated in sets of patients to see which vaccine (or combinations) offer the most benefit to these groups of vulnerable people. However, not boosters at this time,” renowned virologist and member of the Covid Working Group, MOHFW, New Delhi, Dr Gagandeep Kang said on Tuesday.
The highly regarded virologist took to Twitter to clarify more on the issue of Covid booster vaccines. While maintaining that there was no India-specific data on the need for booster doses, Dr Kang said that a third Covid shot for vulnerable patients should be considered. “Who needs the booster dose and when? At the moment, we do not know. The FDA recommendation is not for boosters as much as recognition that people with poor immune responses should get a third dose as part of their primary series of immunizations,” Dr Kang said.
She then added that, the list of vulnerable patient population includes solid organ transplant recipients, those getting active treatment for solid tumours and haematologic malignancies, those with CAR T cell therapy or within two years of stem cell transplant, moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g., DiGeorge, Wiskott-Aldrich syndromes), advanced or untreated HIV infection or active treatment, with high-dose corticosteroids.
Dr Kang also highlighted the need for India specific data, which points towards the need to roll out booster doses.