India to start administering 'precuationary doses' to eligible population soon. Representative image Photograph:( Reuters )
The process for getting this 'precaution dose' will be largely similar to the one followed for the vaccination programme for people of and above the age of 45, and suffered from specified co-morbidities
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently announced a 'precaution dose' for citizens of and above the age of 60. The announcement was made in a surprise televised address to the nation.
PM Modi announced that considering the wide spread of the Omicron variant all over the world, India will start administering ‘precautionary doses’ for people above the age of 60 and frontline workers.
Who is eligible?
All Indian citizens of and above the age of 60 are eligible for the COVID-19 ‘precautionary doses’. Those eligible would also need a ‘comorbidities certificate’ before taking the shot, clarified Dr RS Sharma, chief executive officer (CEO) at National Health Authority (NHA).
In addition to this age group, healthcare and frontline workers are also eligible for this precautionary shot.
When will the vaccination programme start?
The vaccine programme for all eligible people will tentatively start from January 10 of next year.
What is the process?
The process for getting this 'precaution dose' will be largely similar to the one followed for the vaccination programme for people of and above the age of 45, and suffered from specified co-morbidities.
What are the 'comorbidities' mentioned?
As per medical terms, a comorbidity is the presence of a serious health condition (or multiple conditions) that are co-occurring with primary health conditions. The government has mentioned 20 such comorbidities, out of which few are cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, stem cell transplant, kidney disease or on dialysis, cirrhosis, cancer, sickle cell disease, and current prolonged use of steroids or immunosuppressant drugs.
Eligible citizens can upload copy of their comorbidity certificates on the Co-WIN 2.0 platform after getting it signed by any medical practitioner. People will also be asked to carry a hard copy of the certificate to the vaccination centres.
What is the required gap between the ‘precaution dose’ and the second Covid vaccine?
The gap between the second Covid shot and the ‘precaution dose’ has not yet been announced by the government. However, experts believe the gap might be near nine to twelve months. The immunisation division and the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) are discussing the matter for now and a final decision will soon be announced.