Indian government has no COVID-19 vaccine booster plans as yet
22 November 2021 -

India is not considering the authorisation of booster COVID-19 doses yet, as many in the country have been naturally infected, Reuters news agency reported on Monday.

According to three sources with knowledge of the matter, the Indian government believes two doses of a vaccine offers sufficient protection for now.

The sources declined to be named as the matter was still being discussed by policy makers.

"The priority is to fully immunise the adult population," said one of the sources.

"A big majority has been naturally infected, and for them two doses are enough. That's why we are seeing that even after recent festivals, cases are not rising."

The source added that once most adults have had two vaccine doses, the government could make boosters optional.

With the increase in vaccine supplies in India, some doctors and public health experts have urged the government to start a booster programme for the most vulnerable.

However, India will instead concentrate on having most of its 944 million adults complete a two-dose vaccination by January 2022, before shifting their focus to a big expansion in exports, said the sources who are involved in vaccine-policy discussions.

So far, 81% of India's adults have received at least one dose while 43% have had two doses. Vaccination for people under 18 is yet to commence.