Do we need extra vaccine dose for JN.1 variant? Chief of India’s Covid genomes consortium reveals

As COVID-19 cases surge in India due to the emergence of the JN.1 subvariant, Dr. NK Arora, Head of India’s SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG), has indicated that an extra vaccine dose for this subvariant isn’t currently deemed necessary.

Dr. Arora emphasized the importance of preventive measures, particularly for individuals aged 60 and above, those with underlying health conditions, or undergoing immunosuppressive treatments. He stated, “Preventive measures are recommended for vulnerable groups, but additional doses are unnecessary unless precautions haven’t been taken.”

Addressing concerns about the severity of various Omicron subvariants, Dr. Arora assured that none have shown increased severity. He highlighted the absence of severe illness associated with these variants despite the identification of numerous subvariants.

Discussing symptoms of the JN.1 subvariant, Dr. Arora noted similarities with other strains, citing fever, nasal discharge, cough, occasional diarrhea, and body aches, with recovery typically within “two to five days.”

While acknowledging the rise in cases, he highlighted a low hospitalization rate, indicating no significant surge in severe illness requiring intensive care or resulting in fatalities.

Despite the recent spike, Dr. Arora urged vigilance over panic, advocating for a cautious yet composed approach.

The Indian Health Ministry reported 3,742 active cases, with four deaths in the last 24 hours, predominantly from Kerala, Rajasthan, and Karnataka.

Although the World Health Organization (WHO) classified JN.1 as a variant of interest, it deemed the overall risk as low based on current evidence, providing a cautious yet reassuring outlook amidst rising concerns.

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