The Union health ministry stated on Friday that the Covid booster dose, commonly known as the booster dose, will be accessible to anyone aged 18 and up at private vaccination centres beginning April 10.
The government will enable all adults to receive booster doses of the Covid vaccine, which it refers to as preventative doses.
“It has been decided that precautionary doses of COVID vaccines will be made available to 18+ population groups at private vaccination centres. The administration of Precaution Dose to the 18+ population through Private Vaccination Centres would start from 10th April (Sunday), 2022.”
“All those who are more than 18 years of age & have completed 9 months after the administration of the second dose, would be eligible for Precaution Dose. This facility would be available in all Private Vaccination Centres,” the Centre said in a statement.
Moreover, the decision to provide the third dose to everyone comes at a time when China is experiencing a new wave of infections, despite India’s pandemic is under control.
The ongoing free vaccination programme for healthcare staff, frontline workers, and the people over the age of 60, which is being carried out through government vaccination centres, will continue, and the pace will be intensified, according to the health ministry.
The Covid vaccination programme, which began in January 2021, has been expanded to include adolescents in numerous phases. In a significant milestone for India’s vaccination campaign, all people are now eligible for the third booster dose of the vaccine.
The booster dose is the third dose of the same vaccination that has been given to those who have been infected with SARS-CoV-2. With the introduction of additional virus types around the world, the need for a third dose became apparent, as the immunity provided by two doses of the vaccine began to fade.
Covid Booster Dose in India
On January 10, this year, India began giving booster doses to frontline workers and senior persons with comorbidities. The interval between the second and third doses should be 9 months.
Because the government has yet to decide whether or not to mix and match vaccines, the third dose will be provided with the same vaccine.
Moreover, the government expanded the precaution dose’s coverage in March, making all people over the age of 60 eligible for the third dose.
According to health ministry data, around 96 per cent of the country’s 15+ population has received at least one Covid-19 vaccination shot, with approximately 83 per cent having received both doses. Over 2.4 crore third doses have been given to healthcare staff, frontline workers, and people aged 60 and older. The first dose was also given to 45 per cent of those aged 12 to 14.
Although COVID-19 vaccines are still helpful in avoiding severe disease, their efficacy in preventing infection or serious illness diminishes with age, particularly in persons 65 and older.
The emergence of the Omicron form emphasises the necessity of COVID-19 protection through vaccines, boosters, and preventative efforts.
Clinical experiments found that giving an mRNA booster to those who had finished a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna primary series 6 months before or who had received a J&J/Janssen single-dose vaccine 2 months before improved their immune response. People should be better protected against a major COVID-19 infection if their immune response improves.
Adults who received the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine as both their primary and booster during Omicron had lower levels of protection against COVID-19-related emergency department and urgent care visits than adults who had an mRNA COVID-19 booster, according to a CDC study.