The central government on Friday announced that the precaution dose of Covid-19 can now be administered to all those above the age of 18 and have completed nine months after the administration of the second dose. The vaccination will begin from April 10 at private centres, said the Union Health Ministry.
“It has been decided that the precaution dose of Covid vaccines will be made available to the 18-plus population group at private vaccination centres. This facility would be available at all private vaccination centres,” the ministry said.
The ongoing free vaccination programme through government vaccination centres for the first and the second dose to the eligible population as well as the precaution dose to healthcare workers, frontline workers and those above 60 would continue and be accelerated, the ministry stated.
Who is eligible?
Those who are more than 18 years of age and have completed nine months after the administration of second dose are eligible for this precaution dose. The administration of the dose will start from April 10. This dose will be made available in all private vaccination centres.
No Mixing of Shots
It will be of the same vaccine brand as the first and second dose. Those who were administered Covaxin will get the Covaxin ‘precautionary dose’ and those who opted for Covishield will get the Covishield dose.
How can one register for a precautionary dose?
- Eligible beneficiaries can log in to https://selfregistration.cowin.gov.in/ or register themselves through the Aarogya Setu app. Beneficiaries should register or sign for verification by entering the mobile number and OTP.
- As per the government, the registration can be done through: self-registration through an existing account on CoWin of a family member or by creating a new account through a unique mobile number (this facility is available for all eligible citizens presently).
- Once the registration/sign in is complete, beneficiary’s identity proof under the new category on the CoWin homepage needs to be updated.
- The beneficiary can be registered using their Aadhaar card or ID card.
Apart from Aadhaar, other IDs approved by the MoHFW are: EPIC, Passport, Driving license, PAN Card, Smart Card issued by RGI under NPR, Pension Document with Photograph.
When the precautionary dose is due, the Co-WIN system will send SMS to such recipients to remind them to take it.
All vaccination will be recorded in real-time through the Co-WIN Vaccinator Module on the same day.
Why is it necessary to get a booster shot?
Booster shots offer enhanced protection against Covid-19. The first two doses are still effective in preventing the development of severe disease, but they may become less effective over time, especially in senior citizens and those with comorbid conditions.
New variants, on the other hand, may increase the risk of reinfection. As a result, these booster shots will be critical in maintaining immune protection by increasing antibodies that are beneficial in preventing serious complications.
More than 2.4 crore precaution doses have also been administered to healthcare workers, frontline workers and 60-plus population group. A total of 45 per cent of 12 to 14 years age group have also received the first dose.