Booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine will be same as previous shot: Centre tells States

Representative image | Photo: AP

New Delhi: Union Health Ministry in a letter to states on Thursday recommended that precaution dose for healthcare workers, frontline workers and senior citizens with co-morbidities will be the same as given previously.

In a letter written by Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan read, "The administration of precaution dose for healthcare workers, frontline workers including personnel deployed for election duty and persons aged more than 60 years with co-morbidities will be starting from January 10, 2022, under the National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme."

"In this regard, the following may be noted, the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) has recommended the administration of the homologous vaccine for HCWS, FLWs and elders (more than 60 years of age) with co-morbidities i.e. the same vaccine that has been administered for the previous two doses would be given as the precaution dose to the eligible beneficiaries," it said.

The letter also mentions that private hospitals can provide a precautionary dose of COVID-19 vaccines from January 10 for free to their staffers or can charge for it.

"As communicated on January 4, 2022, the private hospitals that function as COVID-19 vaccination centres can vaccinate their staff (Doctors, Paramedics etc.) at their hospital itself. They may choose to bear the cost of the vaccine doses and provide the precaution dose to their staff who are eligible and due, free of cost or they may provide such vaccination and charge for it," the letter reads.

The Health secretary also mentions that administration of precaution dose to all eligible HCWS and FLWS of Armed Forces, Special Forces under Ministry of Home Affairs and Cabinet Secretariat, may also be facilitated as it was done during their primary two-doses vaccination.

Centre notes that Under the National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, more than 148 crore vaccine doses have been successfully administered. 91 per cent of the adult population has received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine while 66 per cent have been fully vaccinated. More than 17 per cent of the adolescents aged 15 to 18 years have also been vaccinated with the first dose within three days of initiation of vaccination for this age group. (ANI)

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