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Booster dose for COVID-19 vaccine can be taken 9 months after the second dose, Centre said during a meeting regarding emergence of Omicron COVID-19 variant, as reported by news agency PTI

Union Health Ministry informed a parliamentary panel yesterday that if required, a third dose can be taken, but only after nine months of the second dose, sources close to the ministry said. 

Health Secretary, ICMR Director General, and other top officials from the ministry attended a Parliamentary Standing Committee meeting on Thursday regarding challenges posed by Omicron variant of COVID-19'. The meeting was chaired by Ram Gopal Yadav. 

During the meeting, the health officials gave a detailed presentation on Omicron variant and other issues related to COVID-19.

Officials informed, 23 cases of Omicron variant has been reported from India so far and authorities are closely monitoring the situation. 

Maharashtra leads the chart with 10 cases, followed by Rajasthan with nine, officials told the panel in the presentation, adding that globally there are 2303 cases of Omicron variant, the sources close to the ministry informed.

“Should stay ahead of the virus," the members suggested while talking about tackling COVID-19 virus 

Members also suggested that tackling COVID-19 is like game of police-thief and authorities “should stay ahead of the virus," the sources said.

According to sources, during their presentation, officials underlined the need for versatility of the vaccine which is effective against different variants.

There are more than 100 countries which are accepting vaccine certificates issued by the Indian government for international travel, they said, according to the sources. 

India on Friday reported as many as 8,503 new COVID cases and with that the total tally has been pushed to 3,46,74,744 and the active cases in the country stands at 94,943, Union health ministry informed earlier in the morning.

Meanwhile, 7,678 recoveries in the last 24 hours took the total recoveries to 3,41,05,066. A total of 624 fatalities pushes death toll to 4,74,735.

(With inputs from agencies)

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