None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently being used for immunisation offer sterilising immunity, which completely prevents infection. Administering a booster dose will surely increase the level of neutralising antibodies but even that does not guarantee full protection from infection. Nearly a year after India rolled out the COVID-19 vaccination programme, administering a ‘precaution dose’, scientifically … Continue reading Booster doses only mitigate disease severity, do not fully prevent infection
Even if mild, Omicron variant can overwhelming health-care settings
The unprecedented speed at which the Omicron variant is spreading in countries that have high levels of testing, the number of people a single infected person can spread the virus to, and doubling time of less than three days are a loud warning that things can go out of control in a short while. India … Continue reading Even if mild, Omicron variant can overwhelming health-care settings
India widens the vaccine safety net by immunising teenagers above 15 years
Covaxin was found to be safe and immunogenic in teenagers during a phase-2/3 clinical trial; only 175 adolescents aged 12 to 18 years were studied. The data of the trial, which is yet to be peer-reviewed, were posted on a preprint server on December 29. Nearly a year after the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines for … Continue reading India widens the vaccine safety net by immunising teenagers above 15 years
The basis on which India approves precaution dose remains unclear
On November 22, 2021, Dr. Balram Bhargava said there is no scientific evidence so far to support the need for a booster vaccine dose against COVID-19. The priority was on administering the second dose to all adults. No new evidence from India has become available to support an additional dose after Dr. Bhargava's assertion. There … Continue reading The basis on which India approves precaution dose remains unclear
India should prepare for the worst with Omicron
India has been witnessing a surge in cases in many States. There is no reason to believe that the variant will behave differently in India or that Indians have some unknown shield of protection against the virus. The Omicron variant is galloping across the U.S. and many countries in Europe at a pace never seen … Continue reading India should prepare for the worst with Omicron
Two COVID-19 antivirals get FDA nod for emergency use
Paxlovid is not recommended for patients with severe kidney or liver disease, and if given to people with uncontrolled or undiagnosed HIV infection may result in HIV drug resistance. Molnupiravir is not recommended for use during pregnancy as the drug may harm the foetus. If full vaccination with any of the COVID-19 vaccines greatly reduces … Continue reading Two COVID-19 antivirals get FDA nod for emergency use
Is the current testing, sequencing strategy missing Omicron cases in India?
Positive samples sent for genome sequencing to confirm for the Omicron variant are almost primarily restricted to international passengers. Not only are the testing rates across India low, most of the RT-PCR test kits used in most States do not have the S-gene target in the primer, which can detect the BA.1 sub-lineage. Also, the … Continue reading Is the current testing, sequencing strategy missing Omicron cases in India?
The new Omicron sub-lineage may not further increase transmissibility
Developments pertaining to the new variant Omicron (B.1.1.529) are happening thick and fast. Days after the WHO designated Omicron as a variant of concern, the variant has been split into two sub-lineages — BA.1, “for the original globally-distributed lineage”, and BA.2, “for the new outlier lineage”. The sub-lineages BA.1 and BA.2 are two divergent clusters … Continue reading The new Omicron sub-lineage may not further increase transmissibility
How the idea of vaccine protection changed in one year
As the virus evolved, our perception of protection conferred by vaccines changed dramatically. From the popular notions of herd immunity and vaccinating our way out of the pandemic, the discussion is now centred around booster doses and the eventuality of living with the virus. As the virus evolved, our perception of protection conferred by vaccines … Continue reading How the idea of vaccine protection changed in one year
Does the Omicron variant make a case for booster doses?
What is the major objective of a booster dose -- to protect from infection or protect from severe disease and death, who should get it first whenever it is approved, is there enough evidence recommending for their use, and should we give boosters when primary immunisation is not complete? Dr. Chandrakant Lahariya, physician epidemiologist and … Continue reading Does the Omicron variant make a case for booster doses?