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Booster shots not central issue, both doses of Kovid vaccination still a priority: Government

New Delhi: Amid reports and speculation about a possible booster shot for the coronavirus vaccine, the Health Ministry said on Thursday that the government’s first priority is to vaccinate the entire population with both doses of the jab.

Addressing a press conference earlier in the day, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) director Balram Bhargava said giving both the doses is absolutely necessary and there should be no malpractices.

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Bhargava was quoted as saying by news agency PTI, “One thing we need to remember very clearly is that booster doses are not a central topic in the scientific discussion as well as in the public health sector at this time. Getting two doses is the prime priority.” ” .

“Many agencies have recommended that antibody levels should not be measured, but the important understanding is that complete immunization of both doses is absolutely essential and there should be no wear and tear,” he said.

So far, 20 percent of India’s adult population has received both doses of the Kovid-19 vaccine and 62 percent have received at least one dose.

Government data shows that all adults in five states and union territories – Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Chandigarh and Lakshadweep – have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Health ministry data shows that the average daily dose given in a month increased from 19.69 lakh in May to 39.89 lakh in June, then to 43.41 lakh in July and 59.19 lakh in August.

The average daily vaccination in the first 15 days of September has been 74.40 lakh per day.

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Countries like the US, Israel, Italy, France and Russia have already started booster vaccines. The US has started a booster dose for people with weakened immunity and is expected to soon issue a COVID booster vaccine to all of its citizens.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has called for an extension of the global moratorium on COVID-19 booster doses, which aims to enable every country to vaccinate at least 40 percent of its population.

The WHO called for such a postponement as several countries, including India, were considering whether a booster jab was needed against the rapidly spreading delta variant.

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