Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla on Tuesday said that the effectiveness of Covishield vaccine on new COVID-19 variant 'Omicron' will only be known after two to three weeks.
Poonawalla while speaking to NDTV said that Omicron-specific booster shots are possible and added that the focus of the government must remain to get everyone double vaccinated.
Emphasizing on the need of full vaccination, the SII chief said, "The message for all - and a priority - is for everyone to get the 2 doses of the vaccine. That is the first step to stay protected. It is only after that that one can enhance that safety with boosters over the next year."
"Scientists at Oxford are also continuing their research, and based on their findings, we may come out with a new vaccine which would act as a booster in 6 months time from now. Based on the research, we would know about the 3rd and 4th dose for us all", he added.
Meanwhile, a new study in the Lancet indicates that the Covishield vaccine against coronavirus remained effective during the Delta variant outbreak in India earlier this year. The vaccine had an efficacy of 63 per cent in fully vaccinated
Conducted by Indian researchers, the study was led by the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI) to evaluate the real-world vaccine effectiveness of Covishield during the SARS-CoV-2 infection surge between April and May 2021. "The rise in mutant variants of SARS-CoV-2 virus has led to concerns regarding vaccine effectiveness. The Delta (B.1.617.2) variant is the predominant strain in India," the Ministry of Science & Technology said in a statement.
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