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Most people are worried to choose the boosters which is important. On Monday, the government started giving a “precautionary” dosage of the Covid-19 vaccination to susceptible populations, such as those over 60 and with comorbidities, as well as healthcare and frontline workers. Because the two primary vaccines used in India’s immunization program, Covishield and Covaxin, are given in two doses each, the “precautionary” or “booster” dosage is the third one for those who qualify.
Until Sunday, almost 63 crore Indians have got both doses of their vaccination, out of a total of over 150 crore doses delivered.
It is well known that the immunity produced by a regular series of immunizations deteriorates with time. Several studies in India and abroad have shown a decrease in antibodies in vaccinated patients at different periods following the previous dosage. This decrease affects not just antibodies but also memory T-cells.
A booster dose is administered so that patients may retain their level of immunity for a longer period of time. Boosters were formerly advised every three to five years for smallpox prevention. Adults and pregnant women are now advised to have tetanus toxoid boosters after childhood immunization.
There are regulatory and clinical considerations. According to Dr. Gagandeep Kang, one of India’s most well-known vaccinologists, it makes regulatory and legal sense to deliver the same vaccination as the previous two doses until there is enough evidence to make a policy judgment on employing a different vaccine as the third dosage.
There is no clear data on mixing the two vaccines that make up the majority of the doses being administered in India: Covishield and Covaxin.
Efforts are being made to generate and analyze data. Recent pilot research by the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology (AIG) assessed the safety profile of combining Covishield and Covaxin and also tested antibody response by comparing small homologous and heterologous vaccination groups. It discovered that combining vaccines were safe.
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