New Delhi: The Centre on Thursday (September 16) said that booster shots are not the “central theme” at this point in the fight against COVID-19 and that getting vaccinated with two doses remains the priority.

Indian Council of Medical Research Director General Balram Bhargava said that vaccine acceptance, COVID-appropriate behavior, responsible travel and celebration of festivals are some of the things that need to be taken care of.

“Booster doses are not the central theme at the moment in the scientific and public healthcare discussion. Getting a full vaccination of two doses remains a major priority. Several agencies have recommended that antibody levels should not be measured,” said Bhargava.

“The call of the hour is – 1) Vaccine acceptance, 2) Maintenance of COVID-appropriate behaviour, 3) Responsible travel if necessary and 4) Responsible festivities,” he added.

Bhargava noted that there has been a decline in new infections in Kerala and that “other states are also in the path of averting future surge”.

“However, festivals are approaching and sudden increase in population density creates a conducive environment for virus spread,” he cautioned.

NITI Aayog’s Dr. VK Paul informed that Mizoram is a state of concern. “In the coming 2-3 months, we have to maintain caution against any upsurge of COVID cases. We request everyone to remain careful in the coming quarter. We’re happy to see the number of cases stabilising, even in Kerala,” he said.

Talking about the recent reports of a rise in dengue fever cases, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said, “When water is accumulated, it leads to birth of Aedes mosquitoes responsible for of dengue outbreaks. Source reduction is done in all states every year. We’ve received reports of dengue outbreaks in Delhi, Haryana, West Bengal, UP, Gujarat and Assam.”

Also Read: COVID-19 booster shots not needed for now: WHO

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