The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Sunday said that the Centre should ensure the large-scale availability of Covaxin if a mixed match policy is adopted for booster doses for healthcare workers, as majority of the people have taken Covishield as their first and second doses.

"On behalf of the frontline and healthcare workers, we hail the announcement of the Prime Minister for the precautionary booster dose for healthcare and frontline workers. It is the right step as the imminent third wave by the new variant is a matter of concern.

"Omicron is at our doorstep and we need to protect our healthcare and frontline workers in all possible ways", the IMA said in a statement.

On the ongoing RDA strike which has hit all the medical services in the national capital, the IMA said that the issue of expediting PG counselling is the need of the hour to increase manpower ahead of the looming third wave threat.

The infrastructure without manpower is a futile measure, it added.

The association has also welcomed the government's decision to inoculate children between 15-18 years of age.

J.A. Jayalal, National President of the IMA, said: "The IMA also welcomes the much-awaited decision of vaccination for children from January 3. At this moment of reopening of schools, this will be the welcome step to bring additional safety to children. The vaccination process for children must be handled with much more care and constant monitoring and surveillance must be ensured."