The vaccination debate has escalated as a new variant of the coronavirus, Omicron begins spreading globally. Some scientists have urged people to be cautious as newer variants may resist vaccines, while some scientists claim that the current vaccines can prevent infection.
Health experts suggest giving booster doses to vaccinated individuals. Some countries such as the UK, USA, Japan have begun giving booster shots to their citizens. Experts say that booster shots are appropriate for fully vaccinated people.
This debate has started in Nepal too. The debate over whether to give a booster dose has started as the number of antibodies steadily declines six months after vaccination.
According to the statistics of the Ministry of Health and Population, they have 8.3 million vaccines left. According to the officials, 27,356,530 doses of vaccine have been brought from different companies through Covax facility, grant, and purchase from different countries. He informed that 19 million doses of vaccines have already been used. He says there is currently no discussion in the ministry about a booster dose.
According to the official, 35 million vaccines against coronavirus are being prepared to be brought to Nepal. Vaccines of Vero cell, Pfizer, and Moderna companies will arrive in Nepal from different countries within the month of Poush.
Public health experts have said that booster doses should be given only after vaccinating the target groups first. Vaccination expert Dr. Shyam Raj Upreti says that it would not be fair to talk about booster dose vaccine when most of the people have not received the first dose of vaccine. 'Most of the target population has not applied even the first dose. In such cases, giving a booster dose to those who have received the full dose is unfair to those who have not been vaccinated. It should not be done, 'he said.
Public health expert Sameer Mani Dixit says that one should only think about booster doses after making the vaccine available to all citizens. He further added that the population cannot be protected without 75 percent of the target population being vaccinated. The World Health Organization (WHO) says booster doses can only be given once the target population has been vaccinated.
Public health expert Dr. Sharad Kumar Vanta has also said that the target population should be targeted before going for booster doses. He said that it is important to pay attention to adherence to health safety standards instead of thinking of the vaccines as a weapon to control COVID.