India begins COVID precautionary dose to 60+ age group, healthcare, frontline workers – ET HealthWorld

New Delhi : As the country is witnessing a spike in the coronavirus spread driven by its Omicron variant, today the precautionary (booster) COVID-19 vaccine dose will be given to healthcare and frontline workers, and those over 60 years of age with co-morbidities.

The Union Health Ministry has already said that the precautionary COVID-19 vaccine dose will be the same vaccine as administered previously in the first two doses. So, if a person has been jabbed with two shots of Covishield, he will be administered the third shot of Covishield only. And if someone has taken shots of Covaxin, they will be given the third shot also of the same vaccine.

Earlier in a media briefing, Dr VK Paul, informed that precautionary COVID-19 vaccine dose will be the same vaccine as has been given previously. Those who have received Covaxin will receive Covaxin, those who have received primary two doses of Covishield will receive Covishield.

The eligible population who have taken two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine can directly take an appointment or walk into any vaccination centre. Registration for the ‘precaution dose’ of COVID-19 vaccine for healthcare workers, frontline workers and those aged 60 and above with co-morbidities started on the CoWIN portal on Saturday evening. CoWIN will send reminder messages to all those eligible for the precaution dose and the dose will be reflected in the digital vaccination certificates.

As per the guidelines issued by the ministry, eligibility of such beneficiaries for the precaution dose will be based on the date of administration of the second dose as recorded in the Co-WIN system (completion of 9 months i.e. 39 weeks from the date of administration of second dose). Registration and appointments are available in both online and onsite formats.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting on Sunday assessed the COVID-19 pandemic situation in the country, ongoing preparedness of health infrastructure and logistics, status of the vaccination campaign in the country and the emergence of new COVID-19 variant Omicron and its public health implications for the country.

He directed that intensive containment and active surveillance should continue in clusters reporting higher cases and required technical support be provided to states which are reporting higher cases presently.

Highlighted the need to ensure effective usage of masks and physical distancing measures as a new normal to control the spread. Further exhorted the need for effective implementation of home isolation for mild or asymptomatic cases and to disseminate the factual information to the community at large.

The Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya also tweeted that the government is ensuring the safety of the health army and that reminder SMS have been sent to more than 1 crore health and frontline workers and 60+ citizens for their precaution dose. He also mentioned that appointments on CoWin have begun and the dosing programme will begin today.

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