Srinagar, Jan 11 : Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Tuesday has sought mandatory Covid booster shots for healthcare workers.
“Vaccine mandate will ensure that all people in the healthcare workforce are boosted,” said DAK President and Influenza expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement issued to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO).
The DAK President said we are seeing many doctors, nurses and paramedical staff getting infected and even fully vaccinated are not spared. “They are at the forefront in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic. We need to keep them safe. They need that extra layer of protection,” he said.
Dr Hassan said boosters will protect medical staff from getting infected and prevent disruption of healthcare delivery services. “There is a moral imperative for staff to get booster shots to ensure that the hospital environment is safe for patients,” he said, adding that patients entrust healthcare workers with their lives and clinicians should not be the ones to make them sick.
“The science is clear now that while two doses of Covid-19 vaccine protects you from severe disease, immunity begins to wane after a period of 6 months,” said Dr Nisar, adding that it has been almost 12 months since healthcare workers were vaccinated. That makes boosters shots critically important for them.
General Secretary DAK Dr Arshad Ali said booster shots would broaden individual’s immune response against the emerging variants of Covid-19 including the highly transmissible omicron which is responsible for massive surge of Covid-19 cases in the country, indicative of third wave. “Jammu and Kashmir is also seeing a significant rise in cases for the past one week and there has been an increase in the number of hospitalizations too,” he said.
Spokesperson DAK Dr Riyaz Ahmad Dagga said India rolled out booster shots yesterday for healthcare and frontline workers, and senior citizens with comorbidities.
“Dubbed as a precaution dose, booster shot or the third dose will be the same vaccine that was given to the person for the first and the second dose,” he said adding “those who are eligible for boosters will, however, get them only 9 months after receiving second dose of Covid-19 vaccine.”—(KNO)