Booster dose needed to fight against Omicron: Study


Pune: Neutralising antibody levels against Omicron variant gets reduced after six months of being fully vaccinated, according to a study done by National Institute of Virology, Pune pushing the case for booster dose to fight the Covid variant.

The study constituted three groups of cohorts including a Heterologous group with 18 individuals who were accidentally vaccinated with Covishield and Covaxin in Uttar Pradesh, and another Homologous group with 40 individuals administered with covaxin and covishield vaccines each respectively.

“All the three groups were closely monitored over 7 months and the study is still in the process. When we analyzed all the cohorts initially, there was highest response was observed of neutralizing antibody against Wuhan strain, Alpha and Delta variants in heterologous vaccinated individuals in compare of homologous groups,” Dr Pragya Yadav, Scientist at NIV Pune said.

The first study of done in June while the second round was completed in December last year. The findings of the study have now been published in the latest issue of Journal of Travel Medicine.

“It was observed that after six months there was significant reduction in the levels of neutralising antibodies in all the cohorts with regards to Omicron. This study emphasized the need of booster dose in the light of omicron emergence in population after six months of vaccination,” Dr Yadav told Mint.

It is to be noted that neutralising antibodies helps to neutralise virus variants in the body.

The Central government has permitted precaution doses for healthcare workers, frontline workers and people above the age of 60 years of age. So far, 2,31,71,740 eligible people have recevied the booster shots across the country. Under the covid-19 vaccination group, atleast 184 crore people have been vaccinated till date.

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