Amid alarming scare of a third wave, ICMR is likely to give its nod to a booster shot in India. As per a recent study, over 20 percent people, who received their both doses of the vaccine, failed to develop antibodies against the virus. Their antibody level was found negative and this is the reason the move to introduce a booster dose is being contemplated. The clinical trials for the booster shot are currently underway to determine whether the booster shot will be Covaxin for people vaccinated with Covishield and vice versa or Sputnik V for people vaccinated with either Covaxin or Covishield.

Dr Ajay Parida, Director of Bhubaneswar-based Institute of Life Sciences (ILS), said, “Though the antibody level is 30,000 to 40,000 in some Covid infected people, it is below 50 in significant number of vaccinated individuals. If the antibody level is 60 to 100, then we can say the person is antibody positive.” He also emphasised that the antibody level among people is seen to come down after four-six months.

Sharing an insight into the booster trials, Dr Parida added, “Based on the outcome of the clinical trial, the ICMR may approve the booster dose. Trial is on whether the booster dose will be Covaxin for people vaccinated with Covishield and vice-versa or Sputnik V for people vaccinated with either Covaxin or Covishield. The study is expected to be over in a week.”

India recorded 28,591 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative covid count to 3,32,36,921, the Union Health Ministry informed on Sunday. Presently, there are 3,84,921 active cases in the country. In the last 24 hours, 20,487 cases of COVID-19 were reported in Kerala only. According to the ministry, a total of 338 people succumbed to the coronavirus infection in the last 24 hours, taking the overall death toll to 4,42,655 in the country.