Immunodeficient and immunocompromised people may require an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine, but India's current priority is to administer two doses to everybody in the country, said Dr NK Arora, head of the COVID-19 Working Group of National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation.
"The whole discussion about administering booster dose has picked up steam in India, but I think our priority of administering two doses to all is an appropriate policy," Arora said while speaking at the 15th edition of FICCI Heal 2021.
Apart from Dr Arora, well-known virologist Dr Gagandeep Kang, Major Gen Aftab Alam and Prof M Vidyasagar were also on the panel for discussion on "Covid Pandemic - What could be India's winning strategy".
Speaking about the current variants of interest and concerns, Kang said, "At any point of time, we always have variants of interest and concern. Currently AY.4.2 is the one, which is called as Delta plus. This variant is said to be 10 per cent more transmissible than Delta variant."
Highlighting the factors that play an instrumental role in the battle against coronavirus, Maj Gen Aftab Alam, Asst. Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Medical), pointed out that training, collaboration, and capacity enhancement are some of the factors for emerging a winner in this battle against the invisible enemy.
Gen Alam, who played an instrumental role in developing a 500-bed makeshift hospital in Delhi at the peak of second wave, explained the problems he faced.
"The big problem was of communication between patients and their kin, documentation also posed a formidable challenge for us. But with the help of technology, we resolved this issue. With the help of DRDO, we developed an online portal, which was being updated twice in a day and put out the patient status on that portal. His family member can login and find out all the necessary details about the patient, basically we digitised everything," Alam added.
Arora added that strategic and smart usage of technology in resource-constrained environment is terrific. From vaccine registration to the option of portability, technology is being used efficiently in this battle against COVID-19, he said.
"We have to be ready. Last time the pandemic struck the world 100 years ago, but we must keep in our mind that the next pandemic can be much earlier," he added.
India is expected to cross the landmark of administering 1 billion doses on Thursday. So far, over 99 crore vaccine doses have been administered in the country.
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