Trials on Covaxin booster underway: Govt

Says people don’t need antibody tests to ascertain the level of protection after Covid jabs

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 27

The government on Thursday said people do not need to get antibody tests done after taking their Covid 19 shots to determine the level of protection they have acquired against the virus.

The Ministry of Health further said that trials for a booster dose of Covaxin, India’s indigenous Covid vaccine were underway and once the need and the duration of booster shots for available Covid vaccines worldwide are known, related protocols on booster doses will also be made available.

Read also: Foreign vaccines not in free supply, working for imports soon, says Centre

Speaking at a time when some people have questioned the level of antibody generation Covid vaccines produce, Member, Health, NITI Aayog VK Paul said, “You do not need any antibody test after vaccine doses. Antibody is just one measure of immunity but not the only one. The more important measure is the cell mediated immune response. That is more critical and that cannot be tested easily as the test is highly sophisticated.”

Read also: Punjab extends Covid-19 restrictions till June 10

Paul said the cell mediated response levels tell whether a person’s cells recognise the pathogen and can ward it off when it strikes. “Antibody presence is one measure and antibodies decline by time and come up not just specific to vaccines but also based on individual predelictions. When we administered vaccines in mass as a large public health response, there is a situation where we are trying to raise herd immunity. So we will have collective immunity after the vaccines and also individual immunity but some individuals may have lower immunity than the others but we are still protected as a community and as individuals,” the expert explained.

He asked people to go by current protocols – take two doses of Covid vaccines and booster dose trials are underway for Covaxin.

“When to get a booster will be known after worldwide studies conclude on the issue. Follow vaccine guidelines. You are safe after two shots and you do not get severe disease. The need and timing of boosters in relation to different vaccines will be known in time and when these are known, the protocols will be made available,” said Paul, Chairman of the National Taskforce on Covid 19 Vaccine Administration.

Tribune Shorts


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