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Govt. prepares for administering booster dose to above 60, immunosuppressed people



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Kathmandu, Dec. 10: The government has planned to administer the booster dose (third dose) for immunosuppressed people and people above 60 years from the available vaccination centres that are currently running the vaccination campaign against COVID-19.

Dr Bibek Kumar Lal, Director at the Family Welfare Division under the Department of Health Services (DoHS), said that the booster doses will be given on a priority basis, that is, to the immunosuppressed people and the elderlies above 60 years. The effort is to make the booster dose available in every vaccination centre running the vaccination campaign.

“Of the four types of vaccine administered in Nepal for people above 18 years, Covishield, Vero Cell, Johnson& Johnson, and Astra Zeneca vaccine, Vero Cell as a booster dose will be given to everyone above 60 years and the other three vaccines will be given as the booster dose to the immunosuppressed people irrespective of age.” He said.

According to him in case of administering the booster dose of Vero cell, one must be above 60 and must have administered a complete dose of Vero Cell at least three months ago and in case of other brands of vaccine besides Vero Cell, the immunosuppressed irrespective of their age are eligible for booster doses as of now.

Both the National Immunization Advisory Committee (NIAC) and World Health Organisation, had advised giving booster doses of anti-COVID-19-vaccine because the administration of a complete dose of Vero Cell is only 50 per cent effective against the virus. “Therefore, elderlies, who are regarded as having less immunity power, will be given booster doses to enhance their protection against the virus.” He added.

He said that the official letter regarding the availability of the third dose in vaccination centres running anti-COVID-19- vaccination campaign for elderlies above 60 years and immunosuppressed people will be delivered today to the National Immunization Advisory Committee (NIAC) for approval and will come into effect immediately after the approval.

 

Booster dose must be from the same brand of vaccine

Dr Shyam Raj Upreti, coordinator of the COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee said that the booster dose must be from the same brand of vaccine as that of the two previous doses. However, Covishield and Astra Zeneca can be mixed up as they are from the same brand.

“As we are still unaware of the repercussions of using a different brand vaccine a booster dose than the other two doses, it is better to stick with the same brand vaccine for the booster vaccine.” He said.