Third pandemic wave unlikely, says AIIMS chief

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New Delhi, 23 November

In an important commentary on the future course of the Covid-19 pandemic, AIIMS- New Delhi chief Randeep Guleria on Tuesday said it is “very unlikely” that India will see a third wave.

He predicted that Covid, like swine flu (H1N1), would become endemic and the disease would cyclically affect vulnerable and immune-suppressed populations, but would not acquire a severe form, as previously predicted by experts. “As a National Vaccine Program” With vaccines already in place in preventing disease and death, the chances of any major wave happening are dwindling with each passing day. It is highly unlikely that we will see a third wave,” Guleria said on a day when India logged 7,579, the lowest daily new infections in 543 days, and active cases the lowest in 536 days.

When asked whether a booster dose is necessary, the AIIMS director said no.

“Covid vaccines are catching out – we are not seeing breakthrough infections, we have a high seropositivity rate and presence of antibodies. As of now, we don’t really need a booster dose. We are completely safe and we should focus on covering as many people as possible with the first and second doses. This is the way to get maximum protection from the disease,” Guleria said.

The AIIMS chief was speaking at the launch of “Going Viral” written by ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava. The book details the journey of India’s indigenous COVID shot Covaxin, a Bharat Biotech and ICMR collaboration. – tns