How to book slot for precaution dose: As coronavirus and Omicron cases rise again in India, the government had taken the decision to provide a precaution dose, which is also called booster dose, to the vulnerable section of the population. The precaution dose is the third vaccine dose to be received by individuals, who are already double vaccinated.
The announcement of a precaution dose for COVID-19 was made by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi on December 25, 2021, at Christmas. The conversation on booster dose in India had begun a month back when the Omicron variant of coronavirus hit countries across the globe. India, too, witnessed a steady rise in Omicron cases. The Omicron variant was first identified by scientists in South Africa and later declared the Variant of Concern (VOC) by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
As India grapples with the spike in coronavirus cases, health care workers had demanded the urgent need to be vaccinated by the third shot of the vaccine, which was also administered by countries like the United Kingdom.
Earlier in a letter, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote that the homologous vaccine, which means the same vaccine that has been administered for the past two doses, can be given as a third dose as recommended by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI).
The administration of precaution dose vaccination is going to begin from January 10 and the government is going to release the schedule for the vaccination on January 8. Those eligible for the precaution dose can book their slot from Saturday evening.
Who Are Eligible For Precaution Dose?
From January 10, India is set to administer the precaution dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to the frontline workers and senior citizens with co-morbidities.
The officials said that close to three crore health and frontline workers including the personnel deployed for election duty will be given the precaution dose after a gap of nine months from their second dose. For senior citizens, people who are 60-years-old or above and have co-morbidities will be deemed eligible for the precaution dose vaccine drive that is going to begin from January 10.
Can Vaccine Dose Be Mixed?
As per the government guidelines, only the same vaccine which was taken as a first and second dose by an individual can be given to the beneficiary. No mixing of vaccines will be allowed for now. If a person has taken Covaxin as the first and second dose, then they will be given Covaxin as the third dose too and the same rule applies for people who have taken Covishield.
Earlier the officials were reportedly pondering on the mix-match of vaccine idea and they had said, “Any decision on the mixing of doses will be taken based on clinical trial results.” As per the government officials, the clinical trials on the mixing of the doses is currently underway at Christian Medical College Vellore.
How To Get The Precaution Dose?
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced yesterday that no new registration on the CoWin portal is required. They stated that the beneficiaries can directly take an appointment or walk into a vaccination centre and get their third shot.
The online appointment for precaution dose starts January 8, today evening. The process will be similar to booking a second dose of vaccination.
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