Nepal confirms 2 cases of Covid Omicron; South Africa prepares hospitals as infections rise

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vaccination proposal for individuals aged 12 to 18. At a press conference, the medical corps said cases of the latest variant of the coronavirus had been reported in a number of major Indian states and the tally, which is in double digits, is expected to rise.

The issue of administering an “extra” dose of COVID-19 vaccine to immunocompromised people will be discussed at the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group meeting on December 6, official sources said.

According to officials, an extra dose of vaccine is different from a booster dose. A booster dose is given to an individual after a predefined period when the immune response due to the primary series is presumed to have diminished, while an additional dose is given to immunocompromised and immunocompromised individuals when the primary immunization schedule does not provide protection. adequate against infection and disease, they explained.

Recently, the Serum Institute of India (SII) applied to the drug regulator for approval for Covishield as a booster dose against the novel coronavirus infection. In a request to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), Prakash Kumar Singh, director of government and regulatory affairs at SII, said the UK-MHRA has already approved the booster dose for the AstraZeneca ChAdOx1 nCoV- vaccine. 19, while citing that there is no shortage of Covishield in India and that there is a demand for a booster dose from those who have already taken two doses given the ongoing pandemic and the emergence of new strains.

In its November 29 bulletin, the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) recommended a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccines for people over 40 years of age, preferably in high-risk populations and at strong exposure. However, on Saturday he said his recommendation did not relate to the national immunization program, as many more scientific experiments are needed to assess its impact.

Regarding the administration of booster doses, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had recently informed Lok Sabha that the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) and the National Expert Group on Immunization COVID-19 Vaccine Administration (NEGVAC) deliberated and reviewed scientific evidence. related to this aspect.

“For the moment, the question of the booster dose is not on the agenda because studies are underway to determine its need and its value. “The issue of giving an extra dose of COVID-19 to immunocompromised and immunocompromised people will be discussed at the NTAGI meeting to be held on December 6,” an official source said.

Basically, cancer patients on therapy, transplant patients, AIDS patients, among others, fall into these categories and need an extra dose (third dose) of vaccine to improve their protection. Even amid the emergence of new variants like Omircron, vaccination remains one of the strongest pillars of protection against disease and infection, experts said.

While there is no evidence to suggest that existing vaccines do not work on the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, some of the mutations reported may decrease the effectiveness of jabs, the Department of Health said. ‘Union while highlighting the definitive evidence of the new variant. increased remission, and immune evasion, is expected.

“Although there is no evidence to suggest that existing vaccines do not work on Omicron, some of the mutations reported in the Spike gene may decrease the effectiveness of existing vaccines.

However, vaccine protection is also provided by antibodies as well as cellular immunity, which should be relatively better preserved. Therefore, vaccines should always offer protection against serious disease and vaccination with available vaccines is crucial. If eligible, but not vaccinated, you must get vaccinated, ”the ministry said in a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Importantly, Omicron was declared a variant of concern (VoC) based on the mutations observed, their predicted characteristics of increased transmission and immune evasion, and preliminary evidence of a detrimental change in the epidemiology of COVID-19, such as an increase in re-infections. Definitive evidence of increased remission and immune evasion is awaited, according to the WHO.

Meanwhile, Delhi reported 63 cases of COVID-19 and zero deaths from the infection while the positivity rate saw a marginal increase to 0.11% from 0.08% the day before, according to data shared by the Ministry of Health here on Sunday.

The cumulative number of cases of the disease has increased to 14,41,358. More than 14.15 lakh patients have recovered so far. The death toll from the pandemic stands at 25,098 in Delhi. Seven virus-related deaths were reported in Delhi in November, the highest number of deaths from COVID-19 in the past three months in the nation’s capital, according to official data. Delhi had recorded four deaths from Covid in October and five in September.

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