COVID Vaccine Panel Fails To Arrive At Consensus On Additional Doses, Jabs For Children

New Delhi: India’s top vaccine advisory panel failed to reach a consensus on both the booster dose and the vaccination of children amid the rise in Omicron cases on Monday.

The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) discussed at length whether to allow an additional dose for immunocompromised people or those more at risk from the deadly virus.

However, no final recommendation was made, say reports. The group is also likely to formulate a policy on inoculating children — the only group left out of vaccinations so far.

“The meeting put light on COVID-19 vaccination, additional doses and vaccination for children but due to no consensus over the issues final recommendation couldn’t be made,” sources were quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

According to the panel members, a decision on boosters was not on the meeting’s agenda. The panel drew a distinction between a booster dose and an additional jab. If two doses fail to build immunity, an additional dose is given.

The government has, for now, held off on boosters. Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya told parliament recently that NTAGI and the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) were deliberating and considering scientific evidence related to this aspect.

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