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health ministry: New Covid Jabs may not be primary dose in drive

The health ministry may not include the new Covid-19 vaccines as primary doses in the nation’s vaccination drive given that a large majority of the population has already received the first two shots, people in the know told ET.

The country’s first mRNA Covid-19 vaccine is awaiting a nod from the ministry for inclusion in the vaccination drive. The vaccine was approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) in June.

A government official said the addressable market would now be in booster shots, since most of the people eligible for Covid-19 vaccines have already received both the doses.

“Both Gennova Biopharmaceuticals and Bharat Biotech have also conducted the trials of their new vaccines as boosters. It’s better to position any new vaccine now as a precaution dose,” one of the persons cited earlier told ET. “Most people have already taken their primary doses.”

The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) will meet next week to evaluate data for the inclusion of Bharat Biotech’s nasal vaccine in the national vaccination programme. But its inclusion in the vaccination drive will be decided by the health ministry.

Once a vaccine gets approval from the DCGI, the advisory group, NTAGI, reviews the data and recommends that “it’s fit for use” to the health ministry. The ministry then takes the next call.



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