An Approval That Suggests Big Changes In Booster Policy Are Likely



More than 158 crore doses of vaccine have been given in India so far.


New Delhi:

In a major impetus for India’s fight against coronaviruses, an expert panel of the Central Drug Authority on Wednesday cleared Kovacin and Kovishield for full use, a year after the emergency approval of vaccines. With significant progress, vaccines are expected to be widely available in hospitals and clinics registered with the official portal CoWIN soon.

This development is due to the government thinking about booster dose policy. The precautionary third-dose vaccine – announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month – is now being used to combat the illness of health and frontline workers and adults over the age of 60. The recommended duration, however, is currently nine months between the second and third doses.

Today’s recommendations of the expert panel of the Central Drugs Standards Control Organization (CDSCO) have been forwarded to the top drug regulator DGCI.


The vaccine will not be available at the counter and will require registration with CoWIN, the source said.

“The CDSCO’s SEC has recommended upgrading covishield and covacin status from limited use in emergencies to allow new drugs with the condition of the adult population. The DCGI will evaluate the recommendations and make its decision,” the regulator tweeted.


A few weeks ago, the Serum Institute of India requested the Center to approve the market for its Covishield, which contains one billion doses of the vaccine worldwide and is safe. Covishield vaccines about 90 percent of the country.

Sources said that SII currently has 300 million doses of vaccine in stock.

India Biotech also sought similar prescription-based approvals for domestic covacin.

More than 158 crore doses have been delivered in India so far, a market approval means booster shots will soon be available to those in need without front-line workers and senior citizens.


However, one key question that remains is whether the interval between the second and third doses can be reduced to six months – in many parts of the world the normal interval period is being followed as antibody counts begin to decline.

Also, according to official government policy, mixed-and-match vaccines are not an option for now.

As of this morning, there have been 2.82 lakh fresh cases in India – more than 18 lakh cases have been registered in the last one week on Omicron-powered growth. The big cities, however, are now declining on a daily basis.


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