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No need for booster dose; third wave unlikely: AIIMS director

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Nagpur: Booster doses of the Covid-19 vaccines are not needed at the moment in India now and the focus largely needs to be on increasing vaccine coverage, as per AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria said on Tuesday.

Guleria further added that the possibility of a huge third wave is ‘declining each passing day.’ There were several reports claiming that a booster dose is needed for the population in India to avoid the third wave of Covid-19. The AIIMS director further said, “The vaccines are holding up, we are not seeing breakthrough infections causing a surge in our admissions, our sero-positivity rate is very high. All of these suggest that as of now, we really don’t need a booster dose. We may need it in the future, that is definitely there. But as of now we don’t need a booster dose.” He added that everyone is well protected and should focus on getting more and more people to get the first and second dose because if the number of vaccinated is sufficiently large, the country will be protected.

When asked about the predicted third wave in the country, Guleria said, “As our vaccination programme is moving forward, as we are seeing low vaccine hesitancy and as we are seeing the vaccines are holding out – in terms of preventing severe disease and preventing hospitalisation and death – the chance of any huge wave is declining with each passing day. It is very unlikely that we will see a huge third wave.”

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