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Omicron: Consider booster doses for people above 40, advises India’s genome sequencing consortium

The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium earlier this week recommended that administering a booster dose of coronavirus vaccines to people above 40 years of age should be considered.

The consortium, responsible for monitoring genome sequencing of coronavirus cases in India, made the recommendation in its weekly bulletin on November 29, three days before it confirmed the first cases of the Omicron variant in India.

“Vaccination of all remaining unvaccinated at-risk people and consideration of a booster dose for those 40 years of age and over, first targeting the most high-risk/high-exposure may be considered, since low levels of neutralising anti-bodies from current vaccines are unlikely to be sufficient to neutralise Omicron, although risk of severe disease is still likely to be reduced,” the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium, or INSACOG said.

Anurag Agrawal, a member of INSACOG, said that the recommendation reflects the World Health Organization’s stance about first inoculating unvaccinated people and then considering booster doses based on evidence, The Hindu reported.

“The INSACOG isn’t an advisory body,” he said. “The evidence right now about potential immune escape, vaccination breakthroughs and possible booster need, is all that we have conveyed. In a few more weeks we’ll have better information on whether Omicron is linked to increased disease severity.”

On Thursday, Joint Secretary…

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