India may need a third dose of vaccine next year: Prof G Padmanaban

Prof Padmanaban, who is Chancellor of Central University of Tamil Nadu and a Padma Bhushan recipient, said that his opinion of a third dose is based on "scientific understanding"

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NH Web Desk

India may require the third dose of Covid vaccine by the middle of next year, said eminent scientist and biochemist Prof G. Padmanaban, as breakthrough cases even after full vaccination have been prevalent, even though mostly mild.

Prof Padmanaban, who is Chancellor of Central University of Tamil Nadu and a Padma Bhushan recipient, said that his opinion of a third dose is based on "scientific understanding".

“As far as the variants are concerned, the Delta variant is not the end of the story. The larger question is – do we have a vaccine for every variant being created? Perhaps not. So, I feel that by the middle of next year, India may need a third dose of vaccine,” the scientist said while participating in a webinar to mark the inaugural session of ‘Health4All Online’, a weekly health show organised by the HEAL Foundation.

“The more important vaccine is wearing the mask. There is a 100% guarantee that if you wear the mask, you will be protected. Wearing a two-layered mask guarantees 70% of protection from the virus. Therefore, awareness plays a key role in protecting people,” he added.

India recorded new 18,987 cases of the novel coronavirus, along with 246 deaths due to the infection in the past 24 hours. According to the data shared by the Union Health Ministry on Thursday, the country saw a total of 19,808 discharges in the last 24 hours, taking the total recovery rate at around 98.06 per cent and total recoveries to 3,33,62,709.

The total death toll in the country is now at 4,51,435. In India, the first death due to COVID pandemic was reported in March 2020.

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