Omicron BF.7 Variant: Basic Measures Are Need Of The Hour

BW Businessworld had a conversation with Dr Laxman Jessani, Consultant, Apollo Hospitals regarding sudden surge of omicron variant, booster dose, and tips to safeguard ourselves from infection

Amidst the worldwide panic of covid-19, steps are being taken for the prevention from the virus in view of any possible danger in India.

The government has advised people to follow the rules of prevention from covid. Union Health Minister has said that the virus is not gone yet and everyone needs to be alert. In this view, BW Businessworld had a conversation with Dr Laxman Jessani, Consultant - infectious disease, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai regarding sudden surge of omicron variant, booster dose, and tips to safeguard ourselves from infection. Excerpts;

As we know new variant of omicron is creating a hike in cases once again, so does it seem to have one more covid wave in India?

We may not see a significant new wave in India as many of us have already acquired Omicron infection and vaccination coverage is also more than 90 per cent. We may see a slight increase in cases at the most but mortality may not increase.

Why is it so that there is sudden hike in infections?

Whenever there is a mutation in virus it leads to new sub-lineages, which can be immune evasive and hence responsible for increase in number of cases.

If talked about booster dose, most of the people are still following negligence, what do you have to say them?

Negligence is totally harmful for health of yours and your loved ones. We need to take booster shots as they will help in developing immunity against covid infection. It is important.

Some people are also confused whether booster dose is a new medicine or the same as first two doses. How will you clear this misconception?

Booster doses are similar to previous vaccine shots, but it helps in augmenting the immunity. As we know immunity gets faded away with time and booster shots thereby help in increasing the immunity.

Can the third jab be different from the first two? Like if the first two doses of vaccine was a covishield, will it be good to take covaxin for the third time?

Well, some sudies have shown that mixing vaccines is a good idea and helps in boosting immunity. But we need more data before we can recommend this as a protocol. Till then, let's follow the same vaccine as a third shot that was in previous two.

What is your take in nasal vaccine? How effective it is?

Nasal vaccines are a new entry to India's vaccine category. It is a good option as it will also provide mucosal immunity. So far studies have shown it to be very effective. These vaccines are easy to take and can go in through the nasal passage.

Is nasal vaccine suitable for people already suffering from diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart illness, etc? 

Nasal vaccine is a live vaccine and cannot be taken for people who are immuno-compromised like HIV, cancer etc.

It can be taken safely in diabetics and people with heart related ailments.

If by chance there is a high surge in the cases and India has to face one more covid wave, how prepared Apollo Hospitals is for this?

Apollo hospital has its protocols and be resources in place and has geared up and is ready in case there is a new wave.

Lockdowns are not a solution to covid, so how can people keep the safety and precautions from the virus?

Use of simple measures such as masking in crowded places, social distancing, use of hand sanitiser, etc are the need of the hour. Regular RTPCR tests are also a way to prevent the virus to spread.

Please share some tips to boost immunity.

Healthy food, proper diet, exercise are basic things when done right helps in boosting immunity. We can follow a healthy lifestyle by making several changes in our daily routine, diet, and physical activity. This will help in strengthening the immune system.

Tags assigned to this article:
Omicron variant COVID-19 Measures protocols Booster Dose


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