BREAKING! India’s Genome Consortium Backtracks On Booster Dose Advice Amidst Concerns Arising Over Possible ADE Phenomena With Omicron!
: INSACOG or India’s Genome Consortium backtracked its advice a week ago that additional shots may be considered for people above the age of 40 in order to deal with a possible Omicron threat in the country.
The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium suddenly said on Saturday that more scientific experiments are needed to assess the impact of booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines. According to a senior member of the of the organization who wished to remain anonymous, the decision was made based on certain emerging data and also amidst concerns that there might be issues about possible ADE (Antibody dependent enhancement) and viral priming occurrences and issues with regarding the Omicron variant.
Typically, booster shots are jabs given to ramp up the number of antibodies provided by vaccines that wane over a period of time.
It was reported that in a bulletin dated November 29, the genome sequencing body had said: “Vaccination of all remaining unvaccinated at-risk people and consideration of a booster dose for those 40 years of age and over, first targeting the most high-risk/high-exposure may be considered, since low levels of neutralizing anti-bodies from current vaccines are unlikely to be sufficient to neutralize Omicron.” https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/covid-19-genome-consortium-insacog-advises-booster-doses-be-considered/article37813524.ece
However surprisingly in a document released on Saturday, the consortium said its earlier statement was “not a recommendation or suggestion for booster dose in the national immunization program” and said more urgent studies are warranted on the vaccines and also the omicron variant.
The B.1.1.529 or Omicron variant was first detected in South Africa in November and according to latest Omicron Updates
, the new variant has appeared in nearly 41 countries.
So far, India has confirmed five cases of the variant. It is still not clear whether, or to what degree, Omicron may evade protection conferred by the vaccines.
The Indian genome consortium said on Saturday that immunity and protection from COVID-19 is “multifactorial”.
INSACOG said in the statement, “Many more scientific experiments are needed to assess the impacts of booster dose, which are being guided and monitored by National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization and National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19. The recommendations and suggestions regarding vaccines, schedule, and roll out comes under expressed mandate of NTAGI and the NEGVAC.”
Also, on Thursday, Lav Agarwal, joint secretary in the Union health ministry, had said that scientific rationale for administering booster doses was still under examination.
To date, almost 40 countries, mostly the rich and developed ones, are allowing citizens to get inoculated with a third vaccine dose.
However, to date there is no real proof that booster doses might
better protect against the newly emerged Omicron variant, in fact reports are coming in that in certain countries, those who had received booster shots are still developing disease severity and requiring hospitalization when exposed to the Omicron variant. https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/breaking-omicron-causes-severe-condition-in-man-who-was-fully-vaccinated-and-had-received-booster-shot-in-iceland-finland-finds-omicron
Even more concerning is that some experts are speculating that the effects of ADE and viral priming are now being seen in certain groups infected with the new Omicron variant. More studies and data are urgently required to validate if this is true.
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