‘Covaxin booster dose can fight variant menace’ | India News

PUNE: With SARS-CoV-2 variants likely to define the next phase of the Covid-19 pandemic, scientists at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) here have said that a booster dose of Covaxin may provide a solution to the menace posed by the evolving virus and offer “long-term protection.”
A booster dose against Covid is being explored in some countries with other vaccines. Similar research is being considered in India too, said ICMR-NIV director Priya Abraham.
A booster shot will come after the first two doses of any vaccine and may have to be given regularly (perhaps after a year or two, or later) to keep the immune system primed against SARS-CoV-2 variants. A person receiving a booster will not have to repeat an entire two-dose schedule.
“Covaxin could be more effective at tackling emerging variants. It can play a useful role as a booster vaccine because both antibodies and cells of the immune system (mounted by Covaxin) are able to recognise and neutralise more proteins of the virus, apart from the spike protein,” said Abraham.
Booster shots with a whole virus inactivated vaccine have proven to work well after two doses of any vaccine. “Inactivated vaccines can trigger a strong immune reaction, though it may not be the same as the immune response to live attenuated vaccines. So, a person may need booster shots” added Abraham.

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