The requirement, timing and nature of COVID vaccine booster doses will be based on scientific decisions according to Dr VK Paul, Member-Health, Niti Aayog, today.
Dr Paul said, "The Union Health Minister has said in the parliament that the need, timing and nature of boosting will be based on scientific decisions and thinking that is what the government is engaged with."
Asked about the severity of the emerging COVID variant, he said, "COVID always comes with mild symptoms in the initial stages. We are watching any change in the pattern of the presentation of the emerging cases very carefully."
Dr Paul said that coordinated efforts are being made to ensure the availability and optimization of medical oxygen usage.
"The country has ramped up oxygen production and availability. A lot of efforts have been made across the country including provisioning more than 1,500 PSA plants. Most of them are now functional. In order to improve coordination and facilitation, a comprehensive data system Oxycare has been launched. Things are being monitored regularly. We are prepared for any eventuality," he added.
Meanwhile, India reported 6,317 fresh COVID-19 cases and 318 deaths in the last 24 hours, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Wednesday.
The country's active caseload currently stands at 78,190, the lowest in 575 days.
With 6,906 new recoveries reported across the country in the last 24 hours, the total recoveries mounted to 3,42,01,966. The new fatalities pushed the COVID death count to 4,78,325.
According to the Ministry, 213 cases of Omicron variant of coronavirus have been reported in the country so far. Out of this, Delhi topped the list with 57 confirmed cases followed by Maharashtra (54 cases) and Telangana (24 cases).
With the administration of 57,05,039 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India's COVID-19 vaccination coverage has exceeded 138.96 crore.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)