Precaution dose of Covid vaccines will be available to all aged above 18 years at private vaccination centres from April 10, the Union Health Ministry announced on Friday.
All those above the age of 18 who have completed nine months after the administration of the second dose will be eligible for the precaution dose, it said. “It has been decided that the precaution dose of Covid vaccines will be made available to the 18-plus population group at private vaccination centres. This facility would be available at all private vaccination centres,” the ministry said.
So far, about 96 per cent of all 15-plus population in the country have received at least one covid-19 vaccine dose, while about 83 per cent have received both the doses, it stated. More than 2.4 crore precaution doses have also been administered to healthcare workers, frontline workers and those aged above 60 years. Besides, 45 per cent of beneficiaries in the 12-14 years age group have also received the first dose, the ministry said.
The ongoing free vaccination programme through government vaccination centres for the first and the second dose to the eligible population as well as the precaution dose to healthcare workers, frontline workers and those above 60 would continue and be accelerated, the ministry stated.
The government was considering allowing booster doses of Covid vaccine for all those above 18 years in view of a surge in infections in parts of the world and ease difficulties faced during international travel.
Till now healthcare and frontline workers and those aged above 60 years are being administered precautionary doses.
All the people aged above 60 have been made eligible for the precaution dose of Covid vaccine after the Union Health Ministry removed the comorbidity clause recently. The prioritisation and sequencing of the dose would be based on the completion of nine months to 39 weeks from the date of administration of the second dose.
“The government is considering allowing booster doses of Covid vaccine to all those above 18 years in view of a surge in infections in parts of the world and ease difficulties faced during international travel.” a source had earlier said.
India began COVID-19 vaccination for children in the age group of 12 -14 years from March 16 this year. The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16, 2021, with the healthcare workers getting inoculated in the first phase. Vaccination of the frontline workers started from February 2 last year.
The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced on March 1 last year for people over 60 years of age and those aged 45 and above with specified comorbid conditions.
India launched vaccination for all people aged more than 45 years from April 1 last year.
The government then decided to expand its vaccination drive by allowing everyone above 18 years of age to be inoculated against the viral disease from May 1 last year. The next phase of Covid vaccination commenced from January 3 this year for adolescents in the age group of 15-18 years.
India began administering precaution doses of the vaccines to the healthcare and frontline workers and those aged 60 and above with comorbidities from January 10 this year.