Under a special drive, every individual being 18+ will get a free booster dose of the coronavirus vaccine, as announced by officials on Wednesday. The government’s aim is to provide third doses to the majority of the population as soon as possible. This drive is being conducted under the “Government’s ‘’Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebration to mark the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence.”
Free Covid Booster Doses
Until now the coverage rate is very low as even 1 per cent of the population is not administered with the third dose or booster dose. For ages ranging from 18-59 only 77 crores of the total population is administered with booster doses.
On the other hand, if we talk about the people aged 60 and above including healthcare professionals and frontline workers, 26 per cent of the population, around 26 Cr individuals have been administered booster doses, as News agency PTI quoted an official.
“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,” said the official.
He further added, “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.”
Also read:Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa Landed Maldives, 10 Points To Know
Ministry Reduced The Gap Between Second Dose and Precautionary Dose
The Union Health Ministry, “last week reduced the gap between the second and Covid Booster doses for all beneficiaries from nine to six months. This followed a recommendation from the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI).”
The government has taken an initiative to encourage and increase the pace of booster doses and has launched the second phase of ‘Har Ghar Dastak campaign 2.0’ across the nation on June 1. This two-month initiative is currently ongoing.
As per the Government data, “96 per cent of India’s population has been administered the first dose of Covid vaccine while 87 per cent of the people have taken both doses.”