Serum Institute seeks approval to administer Covishield as booster dose

The Serum Institute of India (SII) has sought India’s drug regulator’s approval to use the Covidshield vaccine as a booster dose. It argued that adequate stock of Covishield vaccine is available in the country.

With the threat of Omicron looming large, the need for a booster dose of the covid-19 vaccine is being given serious thought by governments and the healthcare sector. Several countries in the world like the USA, UK, etc. have already created protocols of a booster dose of the vaccine even before WHO’s new variant of concern Omicron popped into the radar.

In an application to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), Prakash Kumar Singh, who is the Director of Government and Regulatory Affairs at Serum Institute of India (SII) cited that the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has already approved the booster dose of AstraZeneca ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine.

Singh in the application said, “the world continues to face the pandemic situation, many countries have started administering booster doses of Covid-19 vaccines”. He also assured that there is no shortage of Covishield in the country.
“The demand for a booster dose is increasing day by day from the people who have already taken two doses due to the emergence of new coronavirus variants,” he wrote in his letter.

He said it is the need of the hour and a matter of right to health of every individual that they should not be deprived of third dose or booster dose to protect them in this pandemic situation.

The Union government has already informed the Parliament that the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization and National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 is deliberating and considering scientific evidence for the need and justification for a booster dose.

Recently states like Kerala, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh had urged the Centre to decide on allowing booster doses of Covid-19 disease amid concerns raised by ‘Omicron’, the new variant of SARS-CoV-2.