India may need Covid booster by mid-2022: Prof Padmanabhan | India News


NEW DELHI: India may require third dose of COVID-19 vaccine in the middle of next year, said the eminent scientist and biochemist Professor G. Padmanaban, since breakthrough cases even after full vaccination have been prevalent, although mostly mild.
Professor Padmanaban, who is rector of Central Tamil Nadu University and recipient of Padma Bhushan, said his opinion on a third dose is based on “scientific understanding”.
“In a Delta variant infection, which is widespread, there is a six- to eight-fold decrease in the potential of vaccine antisera to neutralize the variant compared to the wild-type (used for vaccination, spike or virus full).
“Nobody still has a clear answer on how long the protective antibodies will last, it has been estimated variably between six months and a year. If the virus has not weakened on its own, by that time, there is a possibility that it will reappear. infection, “he said.
As scientists’ understanding of cell-mediated protection (cellular immunity and humoral immunity) is still evolving in the case of Covid, “a third dose (sometime mid to late next year) per mix and match It also provides the opportunity to give a different vaccine against the variant, “he noted.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines a vaccine breakthrough infection as the detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA or antigen in a respiratory sample obtained from a person more than 14 days after have completed all recommended doses of an authorized Covid-19. vaccine.
Worldwide, many studies and scientists have claimed that two doses of a Covid vaccine are sufficient to prevent infection, hospitalization, and death from the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
However, the Delta Covid variant, which has now spread to more than 185 countries, according to the World Health Organization, renewed the debate about Covid drivers. Israel, which was one of the first countries to fully inoculate (two doses) the majority of its population, suffered greatly from the Delta variant. It again became one of the first countries to implement a third dose for its citizens.
“When it comes to variants, the Delta variant is not the end of the story. The bigger question is: do we have the vaccine for every variant that is being created? Maybe not. So I think mid-mid next year India may need the third dose of vaccine, “Padmanaban, former director of the Indian Institute of Science, told a weekly health program of the New Delhi-based HEAL Foundation.
While many countries, including the US, UK, France, and Germany, have come out of Covid Booster, India is still weighing the need to do so.
Scientists at the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) have yet to approve a booster dose in India. For India, a booster dose is not the central issue at the moment and getting two doses remains the top priority, according to media reports, citing ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava.
Countries that implemented boosters first gave the third dose to the elderly, mainly over 70, and to people with weaker immune systems. However, Indian experts state that there is no need for booster doses in India as not enough studies have been done on the subject.
Padmanabhan said: “It is essentially a case of demand and supply. We still cannot make enough doses to vaccinate everyone over the age of 18. We would need 1.5 billion doses (two injections) for a population of 75 million rupees. We have only reached, perhaps, 25 percent (two doses).
“If this population has to be vaccinated before December, we need to do at least 300 million doses per month.”
India currently has four vaccines: Covaxin, Covishield, Sputnik V and ZyCoV-D. However, the production of Sputnik and Zydus Cadila vaccines must be “expanded.”
The other two vaccines expected in India are an mRNA vaccine from Gennova Biopharma, a Pune-based subsidiary of Emcure Pharmaceuticals, and a recombinant RBD vaccine from Biological E, Hyderabad.
“If all this comes true, hopefully we will be able to vaccinate 75 million people before March (two doses). Giving a third dose above 70 can only be considered. Meanwhile, children from 2 to 18 years they have become another segment. Public health experts have to decide, “Padmanaban said.
The 83-year-old scientist said in his opinion that “the SARS-CoV-2 virus has weakened and even if there is a third wave it is likely to be mild.”
But the likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 visiting us every year, like the flu virus, can only be “speculation” at this stage, he said.
“This little virus has defied scientists, despite our claim of enormous scientific and technological progress – humbling!” he said.

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