Booster Dose Not Needed, Huge Covid 3rd Wave Unlikely, Says AIIMS Director; Maha Health Min Disagrees

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Coronavirus Live Updates: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Wednesday said that there is a third wave of Covid-19 infections waiting due to which the state has also recommended vaccination for children in the 12 to 18 age bracket. The state is likely to reopen schools from primary onwards within a fortnight, Tope said.

Tope told CNN-News18, “The health department had given a go-ahead for reopening of all schools. The department has also recommended vaccination of 12 to 18 age group of children. Experts have predicted the cycle of the Covid-19 virus, and the third wave is expected in December accordingly. But it will be mild if the Vaccination process is on track.”

On the contrary, AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria on Tuesday evening ruled out the possibility of a “huge third wave” as the infection rate and severity is “declining each passing day”. “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 said at the launch of “Going Viral”, a book on the making of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.

“We are well protected and I think we should focus on getting more and more people to get the first and second dose because if we have that number in a sufficiently large amount, we will be well protected as a country,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pfizer and BioNTech said Monday their COVID-19 vaccine remained 100 per cent effective in children 12 to 15 years old, four months after the second dose.

The companies said that the new data, which involved 2,228 trial participants, will help support their applications for full approval in the United States and worldwide.

No serious safety concerns were observed in individuals with at least six months of follow-up after the second dose.

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