As the Omicron variant shows a growing foothold in countries around the globe, India is also looking into possibilities of offering a booster vaccine to the population to combat chances of a resurgent wave of Covid-19. Tbe Serum Institute of India has been asked to submit clinical trial data regarding the same before an expert panel before any such decision is taken.
A Subject Expert Committee (SEC) on Covid-19 at the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) reviewed SII's application for Covishield as booster dose and after "detailed deliberation" said that local clinical trial data should be submitted for consideration according to a report by PTI.
The application for booster vaccines was submitted in December by Prakash Kumar Singh, the director of government and regulatory affairs at SII, as the emergence of new variants and a need for vaccine stockpile mounted. He also cited the approval of booster vaccines in countries like the US and UK, and over 60 countries around the world.
However, experts in India have also come out in disagreement over the need for booster vaccine, with immunologist Satyajit Rath pointing out that boosters would be an additional burden in a country where less than 15% of adults had received two doses, as of September, as quoted by PTI at the time.
The Centre, for its part, informed Parliament on Friday the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation and the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 are presently deliberating and considering scientific evidence for the need and justification for a booster dose against Covid-19.