Coronavirus precautionary dose: All aged 18 years and above eligible for third shot from April 10 – Times of India

Precaution dose of COVID-19 vaccines will be available to all aged above 18 years at private vaccination centres from April 10, the Union Health Ministry announced on Friday.

All those above the age of 18 who have completed nine months after the administration of the second dose will be eligible for the precaution dose, it said.

“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.

After the announcement, vaccine maker Serum Institute of India (SII) said the precaution dose of its Covishield vaccine will be priced at Rs 600 per shot for eligible individuals.

As of now, mixing of COVID-19 vaccines is not allowed in the country which means the precaution dose will be the same vaccine as the first and the second dose. However, final guidelines on vaccinating all above 18 years are yet to be issued.

“Adding an extra layer of safety! precaution dose to be available to 18+ age group from 10th April, 2022, at private vaccination centres. All 18+ who have completed nine months after administration of second dose would be eligible for precaution dose,” Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Twitter.

SII CEO Adar Poonawalla also welcomed the government’s move to allow precaution dose of the vaccine to all aged above 18 years at private vaccination centres, saying it will further provide long-term protection against the virus, and aid ease of travel.

“End-users will pay Rs 600 for the booster dose and the hospitals will get at discounted price,” Poonawalla said in a statement.

The ongoing free COVID-19 inoculation 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 years will be accelerated, the ministry stated.

So far, about 96 per cent of all those above the age of 15 years in the country have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, while about 83 per cent have received both doses.

More than 2.4 crore precaution doses have also been administered to healthcare workers, frontline workers and those aged above 60 years. Besides, 45 per cent of beneficiaries in the 12-14 years age group have also received the first dose, the ministry said.

The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has exceeded 185.38 crore.

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