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75 Years Of Independence, 75 Days Of Free COVID Booster Shots; For Everyone Aged 18-59 From 15 July

According to official sources, a 75-day special drive will provide free precaution doses of the COVID vaccine to people aged 18 to 59 at government vaccination centres starting 15 July.

The Union Health Ministry, in the first week of July, had reduced the period for a COVID-19 precaution shot or booster shot after the primary two doses to six months from nine months previously. In a letter sent to all states, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan stated that the Standing Technical Sub-Committee (STSC) of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) has recommended reducing the gap between the second dose and precaution dose to six months or 26 weeks from nine months or 39 weeks previously [1].

Free Booster Covid-19 Doses For All Adults: What You Need To Know

  • As part of the government's Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to commemorate the 75th anniversary of India's Independence, the drive aims to increase the uptake of Covid precaution doses.
  • Starting on 15 Jul, the government will conduct a special vaccination drive in which individuals between 18 and 59 years of age will receive free precaution doses at government vaccination centres.
  • To speed up vaccination and encourage booster shots, the government began the second round of the 'Har Ghar Dastak campaign 2.0' across states and UTs on 1 Jun.
  • A precaution dose has been administered to less than 1 per cent of the target population of 77 crore between the ages of 18 and 59.
  • According to an official source, approximately 26 per cent of the estimated 16 crore eligible individuals aged 60 and older, as well as healthcare workers and frontline workers, have received the booster dose.

"A majority of the Indian population got their second dose over nine months ago. Studies at ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) and other international research institutions have suggested that antibody levels wane around six months after the primary vaccination with both doses... giving a booster increases the immune response," an official said.

He added, "The government is planning to start a special drive for 75 days during which individuals aged between 18 and 59 years will be administered precaution doses for free at government vaccination centres starting from 15 July," he said.

Story first published: Wednesday, July 13, 2022, 17:10 [IST]
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