India to Administer 'Precautionary Dose' to Frontline Workers, Senior Citizens as COVID Cases Rise
05:57 GMT 10.01.2022 (Updated: 10:41 GMT 19.07.2022)
As of now, India has administered 1.51 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to people, of whom 627 million have been fully vaccinated. In his address to the nation on 25 December, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the need for booster doses for healthcare and frontline workers and people aged above 60 with comorbidities.
Starting Monday, India's federal government will begin administering a “precautionary dose” of the coronavirus vaccine to healthcare and frontline workers and vulnerable senior citizens, as the country has registered 179,723 new COVID cases in the last 24 hours.
“Those eligible can directly take an appointment or walk into any vaccination centre,” the health ministry said.
There is no decision on booster doses for all the adults yet. Those eligible for booster shots, however, will get them only nine months after receiving the second dose of the COVID vaccine.
The third dose will be the same vaccine that the people received for their first and second doses. There will be no mix and match, the federal government said.
The third dose was announced by Prime Minister Modi amid continued demands for booster shots due to heightened public awareness of the threat of the quickly-spreading Omicron strain.
In his address to the nation in December, Modi said: “Corona warriors, healthcare, and frontline workers have a huge contribution in keeping the country safe… Therefore, from the point of view of precaution, the government has decided to start administering 'Precaution Doses' for healthcare and frontline workers.”
The Prime Minister had also announced a vaccine for teenagers aged between 15 and 18. As of now, 20 million beneficiaries in this category have been given the vaccine in less than a week.