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COVID Task Force Chief Apprehends Our Vaccines May Be Ineffective In Emerging Situations

New Delhi: India’s Covid Task Force chief Dr VK Paul said that country should have vaccine platforms that are “adaptable quickly” with changing nature of the coronavirus variants in light of the growing concerns over the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Dr Paul hopes that COVID-19 is probably moving in an endemicity direction in India where the transmission is at a low or moderate level.

“There is a potential scenario that our vaccines may become ineffective in emerging situations. In the wake of the last three weeks of living with Omicron, we have seen how such doubts have come up. Some of them may be genuine. We still do not have the final picture,” Paul was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

The B.1.1.529 is the new and potentially more contagious variant that was first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) from South Africa on November 24.

“And therefore, there is need for us that we have to be sure about having vaccine platforms that are adaptable quickly. This possibility that we need to tweak for us to remain in the game, so to say, with changing nature of the variants remains valid,” Dr Paul, who also serves as a NITI Aayog member, was quoted by the agency.

DR Paul also noted that India is adjusting every year in an endemic situation like the flu.

“How soon can we create a vaccine which is using the same platform, but is now targeted to the variant of the day? …we have to be ready to be able to have a situation where resiliently we are able to modify the vaccines as they require. This may not happen every three months, but this could happen every year perhaps,” observed Dr Paul.

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