New Delhi: The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) and the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) are considering scientific evidences related to justification for booster doses against the coronavirus, Lok Sabha was told on Friday.
As per information available on www.ourworldindata.org, more than 60 countries are providing booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines, Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar said in a written reply in the House.
She was responding to a question on whether the government has announced any policy for booster doses for COVID-19 vaccines.
On whether the government has conducted surveys or studies to assess the necessity and effectiveness of the dose, Pawar said the national regulator, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, has granted permissions to two firms for conduct of clinical trials for administration of booster doses.
Bharat Biotech has been given permission for administration of booster doses in phase II part of ongoing phase I/II clinical trial of the Whole Virion Inactivated Corona Virus Vaccine.
Biological E has also been given permission for conduct of phase II/III clinical trial of its COVID-19 vaccine containing Receptor Binding Domain of SARS-CoV-2 (RBD antigen of SARS CoV-2 (Covid-19) (CORBEVAX), which also includes a study of administration of booster doses.
Besides, the national regulator has granted permissions to two firms for conduct of clinical trials for administration of mixed vaccine regimen.
The Christian Medical College, Vellore, has been given permission to conduct phase IV study with Covishield of Serum Institute and Covaxin of Bharat Biotech to compare immunogenicity of mixed vaccine regimen.
Besides, Bharat Biotech has been permitted for phase II clinical trial to evaluate the immunogenicity and safety of BBV152 (Covaxin) with BBV154 (Adenoviral Intranasal COVID-19 vaccine), Pawar said.
The government of India has been regularly reviewing the pace of COVID-19 vaccination and has issued multiple advisories to states/union territories to cover eligible beneficiaries with both doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
It has also undertaken ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ campaign from November 3, 2021 wherein missed beneficiaries for first dose and due beneficiaries for second dose are identified and vaccinated through house-to-house activity, Pawar said.
Adequate quantity of vaccine doses have been made available to all states and UTs to vaccinate all eligible first dose and due second dose beneficiaries aged 18 years and above, the minister said. PTI