New Delhi: A top government expert said in an interview to a TV channel that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is “almost invincible” and everyone will eventually get infected. He added that the booster vaccine dose will not stop the rapid spread of the virus. About the booster dose, he said, “It doesn’t matter. Infection will happen. This has happened despite vaccination all over the world.
Emphasizing that Covid is “no longer a dreaded disease” as the new variant is mild and is causing very less hospitalisation, he said it is a disease that we can deal with. We are dealing with a very different virus.
“It is much lighter than the Delta, as you all know, not only that, it is practically invincible,” said Dr. Jaiprakash Muliyal, an epidemiologist and of the National Institute of Epidemiology at the Indian Council of Medical Research. “Omicron presents itself as a cold,” said the chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee.
Claiming that natural immunity through infection can be lifelong and that is why India has not been affected as badly as many other countries, he said that the country was 85% infected even before the introduction of vaccines and therefore , the first dose was essentially a booster dose. Well, there is a worldwide philosophy that natural infection does not confer any permanent immunity. Now, this is a philosophy, which I think is wrong.
Pointing out that no medical body has suggested booster doses, Dr Muliyil said they will not stop the natural progression of the pandemic. Arguing against testing of asymptomatic close contacts of COVID patients, he said that the virus doubles the infection in just two days, so even before the test detects its presence, the infected person has already spread it in large numbers. spread among the people. So even when you test, you are still far behind. It’s not something that will matter in the evolution of the pandemic.”
He said, “We have not suggested a booster dose from any body of the government so far. To my knowledge, the precautionary dose was suggested only because there are reports that some people mostly above 60 years of age. The class of people didn’t respond to two doses. Most of us wouldn’t know we’ve been infected, perhaps more than 80% wouldn’t even know when we had it.”
When asked why we have assumed that in this country only more than 60 persons have co-morbidities and why cannot more than 40 persons have co-morbidities, and hence why they are not being given the precautionary dose. It is, he said, given as a precautionary dose for those at high risk of “immunological non-response”.
“Just because you have heart disease or diabetes, it doesn’t usually mean immunological dysfunction. On the other hand, some other conditions such as people going in for kidney transplants, there is considerable immunological depression,” he said.
first published:Jan. 12, 2022, 9:07 a.m.