No plans for booster doses now:TN Health Minister

Tamil Nadu government has no plans for administering booster doses for COVID-19 as of now. However, the State will be the first to act if the WHO recommends the same and the Centre takes such a decision, said Health Minister Ma Subramanian on Monday.

“The Union government has formed a National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 which has not suggested any booster dose for the pandemic so far. On the contrary, the health experts have informed that two doses of COVID-19 are sufficient as it will provide 97.5 per cent immunity and prevent deaths,” said Subramanian in the State Assembly.

The issue was taken up in the Assembly as a special calling attention motion by former chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and former health minister C Vijayabaskar. Speaking on the motion, Vijayabaskar said the US has commenced the discussion on administering booster doses for COVID-19 as the immunity period for vaccines is one year and questioned whether the state has any plans for administering booster doses.

Replying to the motion, Subramanian said the World Health Organisation (WHO) has so far not recommended administering booster doses and if WHO gives any recommendation, Tamil Nadu will be the first state to administer booster vaccines based on the directions of the Union government.

The Minister further said the state government has set a target of administering 20 lakh vaccines on a single day on September 12 and for the purpose, 10,000 additional camps will be conducted. Chief Minister MK Stalin has instructed to carry out a special drive to vaccinate 100 per cent population in all the nine districts bordering Kerala to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from the neighbouring state.

As a result of frequent visits to Delhi and conversations with Union Secretaries, the state has received the highest one-day vaccine of 19.22 lakh doses on Sunday, since January 16 and the highest vaccination administered on a single day stands at 6.2 lakh vaccines administered on Saturday, said the Minister.