Omicron scare: IMA bats for booster shots for frontline workers

New Delhi, Dec 6 (Mayank Nigam) The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Monday called for a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccines to frontline workers and those suffering from immune-compromised state like patients of Cancer, transplant etc., as the threat of the third wave led by Omicron looms large. The apex body of private doctors also demanded the Centre to expedite vaccination against Covid-19 among children. The association’s national president Dr JA Jayalal said Omicron can significantly reduce the effectiveness of COVId-19 vaccines and those battling the virus on the frontline will require an additional dose of vaccines.

“Three crore of healthcare and frontline workers will be highly exposed to the virus if the third wave comes. Besides, those living in the immune-compromised state will also need additional shots, since the effectiveness of the vaccines is already reduced among them,” he stated while addressing a press conference. “Therefore, we appeal the government, on the eve of the impending third wave, to officially announce the health care front line workers and immune-compromised individuals to be given an additional dose to augment the immunity,” Jayalal added. The IMA also said Omicron has proved to be less virulent in producing severe infections but definitely 5 to 10 times more potent in transmissibility than Delta Virus.

“Hence It is necessary for Government and all Stake Holder to take appropriate measures to control the transmissibility of this infection, by enhancing immunization,” their statement read. Meanwhile, the association warned that hospitalization among children infected with Covid-19 has increased in South African nations where the outbreak of Omicron is raging. “This possibility of enhancing infection in the paediatric age group is also inevitable, hence IMA appeals to all the schools and colleges shall strictly adhere to the covid protocol and ensure all the adults in the school’s milieu to be vaccinated properly. IMA also demands the union government to expedite the proposal for vaccination of children about 12–18 years at the earliest,” it appealed.