With growing number of Covid-19 and Omicron cases, the Government of India has decided to kickstart booster vaccination doses for those aged above 60 with comorbidities, healthcare and frontline workers, from January 10, 2022. It has also been decided to administer the first dose of vaccination for the children between the age group 15 to 18, from January 3.
Addressing the nation on December 25, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced above measures to curtail the growing number of Corona cases in the country. Even as he announced ‘precautionary doses’ for all the healthcare and frontline workers, the PM also revealed that soon a nasal vaccine and world’s first DNA vaccine against Covid would soon be a reality in our country.
As of now, 61 per cent of the total India’s adult population received both doses of Covid vaccine and 90 per cent took their first dose.
Who Is Eligible For Precautionary Dose?
Healthcare and frontline workers are eligible for precautionary doses
Indian citizens above the age group of 60, especially those suffering from comorbidities can get the booster shot
How Many Vaccines Are Available In India?
Currently, there are two vaccines available in India for the adults – Covishield developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and manufactured by Serum Institute in our country. The other one is Covaxin, developed by Bharat Biotech, which collaborated with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Institute of Virology (NIV).
And for older children above 12 years age, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin was granted approval for emergency use on December 25 by DCGI, after its submission for clinical trials. The other approved vaccine is Zydus Cadila’s DNA vaccine ZyCoV-D.
Eligible Age Group:
While elderly above the age of 60 can get their third shot (precautionary dose), children between 15 to 18, can get their first dose.
What Are The Pre-Requisites For Getting Precautionary Dose?
The Chief Executive Officer at National Authority, Dr R S Sharma, in an interview to News18.com, said that elderly Indian citizens eligible for Covid-19 booster or precautionary doses should get a medical certificate, mentioning their comorbidity.
The authorities have listed out 20 specific health conditions under the comorbidities including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, liver cirrhosis, cancer, sickle cell disease, stem cell transplant, kidney disease or on dialysis, and those on long term usage of steroids and immunosuppressant medications.
The certificate of comorbidity, signed by the doctor can be uploaded on Co-Win 2.0 app or a hardcopy can be submitted at the vaccination centre by the beneficiary.
What Is The Gap Between Having Completed Both Doses And Getting The Booster Shot?
Healthcare officials, medical experts and government administrators who are the concerned authorities held a meeting on Monday, December 27, to discuss the recommendations made by two top panels on Covid vaccination – NTAGI and NEGVAC and have made an official announcement regarding the minimum period post vaccination to take the precautionary doses. The recommended gap to be eligible for the booster shot is completion of 9 months i.e. 39 weeks from the date of being inoculated with the second shot of either Covishield or Covaxin.
Registration for the same will be open on the CoWin website, wherein elderly above 60 years and healthcare, frontline workers who are eligible for the booster shot will be notified via SMS. Following this, they can register and schedule an appointment to get the booster shot either online or at the hospital/ health care center in person.
All individuals are advised by doctors to continue to follow COVID-appropriate behaviour in public places - wear masks, use sanitizer, wash hands, maintain social distancing and avoid unnecessary travel.