Amid Covid warnings, rush for vax increases

Millions yet to take third booster shot

HYDERABAD: There has been a rise in the number of people taking Covid vaccines across the state in the last two days. The trend began on December 20, which coincided with news reports of increased hospitalisation in China and other countries.

According to the Covid bulletin issued by the health department, 1,376 people in the state took their vaccine (one of the three doses) on December 20, and 1,692 people the next day. In contrast, on December 18 and 19, the shots administered stood at 274 and 329.

The rush for vaccines is also because many people are yet to take a booster shot. As per the bulletin, as on December 21, about 1.61 crore people had e not taken the booster yet, while about nine lakh people are yet to get their second dose. The vaccine stock availability with the state government, including at cold chain points, district vaccine stores and state stores, stood at 7.43 lakh, it said.

As of now, those who have got three shots are not allowed to a fourth dose. For that to be possible, the Central government has to issue guidelines, said district medical & health officer (DMHO) for Hyderabad Dr J. Venkati.

Consultant pulmonologist at Osmania General Hospital Dr M. Rajeev said that the decision on a fourth dose would depend on the level of antibodies against Covid in the population. If it was still high, then there would be no need for another dose.

Dr Rajeev added that the vaccines were only effective against the variants that have caused infections till now. If a new variant were to drive a surge of infections, the current vaccines won’t be effective and a new vaccine would have to be developed, he said.

Meanwhile, the findings of a scientific study carried out by researchers at AIG Hospital proved that Corbevax vaccine was effective in combating the Omicron variant when given to individuals vaccinated with either Covishield or Covaxin.
The study has been published in a peer-reviewed international journal.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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