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Given the current evidence, a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is not needed: Expert

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Dr Raman Gangakhedkar, former head of epidemiology and communicable diseases at the Indian Council of Medical Research, dismissed the need for a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine given the current evidence of the coronavirus and its variants.

If a person has taken a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, that means their T-cell immune response has been trained three times, Dr. Gangakhedkar said on the sidelines of Tuesday’s function.

“The core virus (COVID-19) hasn’t changed enough to need a new vaccine, so try to trust our T-cell immune response,” he said.

“When we look at the current evidence (variants of the virus), it is not so great that a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is needed. There are many reasons for this. Currently, whatever vaccines are available, the virus creates escape mutants through them that cause infections,” he said.

According to Dr. Gangakhedkar, the elderly and those suffering from chronic diseases should continue to take preventive measures such as wearing masks.

“I think there is still time to think about the fourth dose, because if a new variant were to come, it would not be from the SARS-COV2 family. It could be a completely new variant and we will think about it when it comes, as our genomic follow-up is still ongoing. No need to worry now,” he said.

Dr Gangakhedkar appealed for adherence to two things, including taking preventive dose and taking all precautions for those who are in the vulnerable group.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a book discussion on ‘Braving a Viral Storm: India’s COVID-19 Vaccine Story’ organized by the Pune International Centre.

(This story has not been edited by our editorial team and is generated from the feed.)

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