COVID-19: You will have to wear face masks in 2022 as well

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People, wearing face mask, wait for their turn to receive the dose of Covid-19 vaccine at a government hospital, in Chennai, April 16, 2021. PTI

New Delhi: Face masks have been found effective in curbing the spread of COVID-19 to a great extent. NITI Aayog member Dr V K Paul has said that people will have to continue wearing masks next year too as the public world over has been doing for over one-and-a-half years.

"The practice of wearing masks will continue like this for some time. An effective medicine is needed to counter the Covid spread. Vaccine, medicines, and disciplined behaviour are essential in the fight against the pandemic. If adequate caution is not exercised during the celebrations in the upcoming months, it could lead to a massive Covid spread," Dr Paul warned.

Booster dose

Meanwhile, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) chief Dr Balram Bhargava said that the Covid vaccine booster dose is currently not on the agenda.

"The priority is to give both doses of the vaccine to everyone. Currently, the objective is to vaccinate all those aged above 18. After maximum vaccine coverage in that age group, those in the age bracket of 12 to 18 will be considered," he added.

A study published in the international medical journal, Lancet, has also pointed out that booster dose is not required for the fully vaccinated. Even if the booster dose is slightly beneficial, it would not offer a greater gain than inoculating the unvaccinated, according to experts, including Soumya Swaminathan, the chief scientist of the World Health Organization (WHO).

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