New Delhi [India], December 15 (ANI): A third wave of the COVID-19 is inevitable and a roadmap for booster dose should be made to protect people, especially those having comorbidities, who are immunocompromised and healthcare workers, noted a top health expert.
Amid the rising cases of new COVID-19 variant Omicron, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute Chairman Dr Ashok Seth said, “It is inevitable that a third-wave is going to come.
A roadmap for booster dose should be made to protect especially those who have comorbidities, who are immunocompromised and healthcare workers.”
Taking cognizance of the surge in Omicron cases across the country, he said, “We are at real, a real risk” adding that there is a need for preparedness.
Noting the worrying aspects of Omicron spread, Dr Seth said the variant is “extremely infectious” and it “evades immunity.”
“The seriousness of the illness is totally related to the immune response of one’s body.
India is a vast country and can have a lot of patients being admitted to the hospital even if a small proportion becomes seriously sick,” Dr Seth said.
Citing England’s examples in relation to Omicron cases, he said, “Those in England who are not vaccinated and those with poor immune response are getting admitted to the hospital.” However, he hoped that this variant does not create an emergency issue that would require oxygen supplies and admissions.
On the other hand, citing the example of South Africa, where the strain first emerged, Dr Seth said, “In South Africa, while the number of Omicron cases has increased rapidly, the deaths have remained low. I hope the same situation stands across the world.”
On ANI’s report on NTAGI analyzing on breakthrough infections data in India to decide on booster dose, Dr Seth said, “The important question is, when is the right stage? When is the right time? For whom should a booster be given? This is a time when variants are round the corner.
These vicious variants which are bypassing immunity are clear evidence from the west which tell us that when a booster is given, we are better protected against this variant and from the future variants which may come.
Better protected than just the two doses of vaccination that we have had.”
Emphasizing that booster doses “increase immunity against COVID”, Dr Seth intensified three groups requiring booster dose. First being, those who are immunosuppressed like transplant patients who are on cytotoxics and on immunosuppressive drugs. The second is the elderly people and the healthcare workers. (ANI)
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