The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has said that free COVID precaution dose will be made available from July 15, Friday, for the next 75 days. The booster dose or precaution dose as stated by the healthy ministry confirms that age groups of 18 to 59 will be entitled for free booster dose vaccination at government vaccination centres under a special drive.

According to the tweet by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the third dose coverage will be held as part of the government’s ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence. However, so far, less than 1 per cent of the target population of 77 crores in the 18-59 age group have been administered the precaution dose.

Quoting an official, news agency PTI reported that around 26 per cent of the estimated 16 crores eligible population aged 60 and above as well as healthcare and frontline workers have received the booster dose.

In a statement citing concerns about the antibody levels, an official said, “A majority of the Indian population got their second dose over nine months ago. Studies at ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) and other international research institutions have suggested that antibody levels wane around six months after the primary vaccination with both doses giving a booster increases the immune response. The government is therefore planning to start a special drive for 75 days during which individuals aged between 18 and 59 years will be administered precaution doses for free at government vaccination centres starting from July 15.”

Last week Union Health Ministry reduced the gap between the second and precaution dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from nine to six months for all beneficiaries. This followed a recommendation from the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization, NTAGI.

To speed up the pace of the COVID-19 vaccination including booster doses, the government had also announced the second round of ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ campaign 2.0 across the country. The said programme is currently on its way.

This year in the month of April, India began to administer booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines to all age groups above 18 years. Though the vaccination drive had already begun last year in the month of January, in order to prevent any exponential spread of the coronavirus infection.

Disclaimer:

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a health advice. We would ask you to consult a qualified professional or medical expert to gain additional knowledge before you choose to consume any product or perform any exercise.

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