The government stated on Thursday that the decision on the third dosage of COVID-19 vaccination for all adults would be made based on scientific need and that developing knowledge on the matter is being actively considered.
In response to a question at a weekly news conference, NITI Aayog Member (Health) Dr. VK Paul stated that all precaution dosage decisions are made first and foremost on the basis of necessity.
The initial aspect that drives it is the scientific requirement, followed by other concerns – programmatic and epidemiological. They have their own context, we have our own context, and all of this is subject to ongoing scientific evaluation and decision-making, he stated.
Dr. Paul stated that the necessity for more vaccinations and the participation of the community in the immunization program is always being evaluated.
In response to a query on vaccine coverage, Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary at the Health Ministry, stated that while there is diversity in vaccination coverage across age groups, the country’s overall vaccination rate remains high.
Every day in October of the previous year, an average of 77.55 lakh doses were administered. In November, around 59.32 lakh doses were administered. In December, the figure was 61.91 lakh; in January, it was 69.49 lakh; and in the previous nine days, around 51 lakh doses were administered on a daily basis. However, with 96% first-dose coverage and 78% second-dose coverage, the available number of individuals who need to be vaccinated decreases little, he says.
Regarding re-infection instances during the third wave, ICMR Director-General Dr Balram Bhargava stated that infection with one variation does not offer protection against the other variant, hence re-infection has occurred as variants have evolved.