India will start administering the third dose of vaccines against Covid to priority groups of the population starting from January 10. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the decision of extending India’s vaccination drive to include youngsters for the first two doses and priority population for their third dose. Teenagers of the age group of 15 and 18 started getting vaccines since January 3.
Registration for the booster dose of precaution dose on Co-WIN began on January 8.
Covid precaution dose: Eligibility, cost and everything you need to know
1. Frontline workers and senior citizens with co-morbidities are eligible for the 3rd dose.
2. Doctor’s certificate is not required at the time of the administration of the precaution dose, but consulting the doctor before getting the precaution dose is advisable.
3. There must be a gap of 9 months between the second and the third dose. So, if you got your second dose latest by the first week of April 2021, then only you are eligible for the precaution dose now. Otherwise, you will have to wait until it’s 39 weeks since you got your 2nd dose.
4. If you have got Covishield, then your 3rd dose will also be Covishield. Same for Covaxin. The government has not allowed mix and match of vaccines.
5. There is no need for fresh registration on Co-Win. Appointments can be booked from the site. Otherwise, walk-ins are also allowed.
6. Voter ID, Aadhaar, passport, driving licence are some of the recognised documents by the health ministry.
7. Vaccination of priority groups is free of cost in government hospitals.
How important is booster dose?
Several countries have been administering booster doses to their people. In India, this is not being called a booster dose but has been named as a precaution dose. The decision to administer this 3rd dose has been taken in view of the recent global surge of Covid-19 cases. In India too, cases are increasing exponentially and Omicron, the variant of concern detected on November 24, is being seen as the reason. Vaccinated people are also getting infected as Omicron has properties that can evade the body’s immunity shield. Immunity, either from past infection or from vaccination, is also waning in people, scientists have found.