The central government on Wednesday announced that after the recommendations of National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI), it has decided to reduce the duration of the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine and precaution dose gap to 6 months from earlier 9 months for all adults.
In a letter to the state and UT authorities, Secretary of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, stated, "It has now been decided that the precaution dose for all beneficiaries from 18- 59 years will be administered after completion of 6 months or 26 weeks from the date of administration of 2'd dose at Private Covid Vaccination Centers (CVCs)."
He also added that for beneficiaries aged above 60 years and above as well as the Health Care Workers (HCWs) & Front Line Workers (FLWs), precaution dose would be administered after completion of 6 months or 26 weeks from the date of administration of 2nd dose at Government CVCs, free of charge. "Corresponding changes have been made in the CoWIN system to facilitate the new dispensation," he stated.
Currently, all those above the age of 18 who have completed nine months after the administration of the second dose are eligible for the precaution dose.
The Union government had earlier allowed citizens and students travelling overseas to get the shot before the stipulated nine-month waiting period as required by the guidelines of the destination country.
Meanwhile, the total number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country crossed 180.58 crore on Tuesday, according to the Union health ministry.
More than 16 lakh (16,54,073) vaccine doses were administered yesterday, the ministry had said.
India's vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 last year with the healthcare workers (HCWs) getting inoculated in the first phase. The vaccination of the frontline workers (FLWs) started from February 2 last year
The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced from March 1 last year for people over 60 years of age and those aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions. The country launched vaccination for all people aged more than 45 years from April 1 last year
The government then decided to expand its vaccination drive by allowing everyone above 18 years of age to be inoculated against the viral disease from May 1 last year
The next phase of Covid vaccination commenced from January 3 this year for adolescents in the age group of 15-18 years
India began administering precaution doses of the vaccines to the HCWs, the FLWs, including the personnel deployed on election duty, and those aged 60 and above with comorbidities from January 10 this year amid a spike in the number of coronavirus cases, fuelled by its Omicron variant.
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