Kathmandu, Dec. 5: Health Experts have said that there is a dire need for the COVID-19 booster shots to cope with the new Coronavirus variant, ‘Omicron’.
The Omicron variant is believed to be more contagious than the persistent, delta variant that invited the second wave in the country.
According to Dr Sher Bahadur Pun, chief of the Clinical Research Unit at Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital in Teku, a booster dose must be administered in fully vaccinated people, especially to front-line workers, elderlies, and critically ill patients, on the basis of vaccine availability.
“The Omicron variant has infected those who have been fully vaccinated as well. Therefore, a Booster shot is needed to raise anti-body levels and strengthen defences against the SARS-COV-2.” He said. “It has been over six months since many have been fully vaccinated, the booster dose needs to be the only viable option to increase anti-bodies for this new variant that is spread to many within a short span of time.”
The Omicron virus has spread in 40 countries as of now, which shows that it is more contagious and has the potential for immunity evasion. This is seen even in vaccinated people.
The vaccination campaign was started in the country on January, 27, since then, half of the targeted population, that is, 10,326,647 have received at least a single dose of the 23,200,000 targeted population to be vaccinated, as per the report of the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP).
Dr Sameer Adhikari, an Assistant Spokesperson at the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), said, that currently, they are focusing on an effective vaccination campaign, that is vaccinating all the targeted population.
“If deemed needed, Nepal is fully capable of administering booster doses as more than 30 million doses of anti-COVID-19-vaccine are in pipeline for arrival. However, as of now, the focus is on administering doses to unvaccinated people,” He said.