SII seeks nod for Covishield booster dose amid Omicron variant concerns

New Delhi: The Serum Institute of India (SII) has requested approval from India's drug regulator for the Covishield vaccine as a booster dosage, citing adequate vaccine stock in the country, according to officials.

The Union government has also told Parliament that scientific evidence on the booster dose is being considered by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization and the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19. States such as Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, and Kerala have also requested a booster dose from the central government, citing Omicron as a source of concern.

The Serum Institute of India is the first company in India to apply for COVID-19 booster dose approval. Adar Poonawalla, the Chief Executive Officer of the Serum Institute of India, recently stated that Oxford scientists may develop a new vaccine that will work as a booster in six months against this new type.

South Africa was the first to report the novel Omicron form to the World Health Organization (HO) on November 24.  According to the WHO, the strain's large number of spike protein mutations may make it more transmissible than earlier strains.

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