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Huge COVID-19 third wave very unlikely, no need for booster dose for now: AIIMS Director

AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria said that the possibility of a “huge third wave” of COVID-19 is “declining each passing day”.

New Delhi: AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria said that the possibility of a “huge third wave” of COVID-19 is “declining each passing day”.

Speaking at the launch of “Going Viral”, a book on the making of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, by ICMR Director General Dr Balram Bhargava, Guleria said that booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine are not needed in India right now and focus needs to be on increasing vaccine coverage.

“The vaccines are holding up, we are not seeing breakthrough infections causing a surge in our admissions, our sero-positivity rate is very high. All of these suggest that as of now, we really don’t need a booster dose. We may need it in the future, that is definitely there. But as of now we don’t need a booster dose,” Guleria said. 

“We are well protected and I think we should focus on getting more and more people to get the first and second dose because if we have that number in a sufficiently large amount, we will be well protected as a country,” he added.

On the possibility of a third wave of COVID-19, Guleria said: “As our vaccination programme is moving forward, as we are seeing low vaccine hesitancy and as we are seeing the vaccines are holding out – in terms of preventing severe disease and preventing hospitalisation and death – the chance of any huge wave is declining with each passing day. It is very unlikely that we will see a huge third wave.”

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He added, “But the disease will become endemic and we will continue to have cases… we will have some patients who will be sick but it will not be of the magnitude that we saw in the first and second waves and most of us will be protected.”

first published:Nov. 24, 2021, 5:02 p.m.

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