New Delhi, March 21
The Union Health Ministry is considering expanding Covid booster shot programme to cover all adults in view of ample vaccine availability in India and the rising cases in some countries, including China and Singapore.
Sources said a booster (or precaution dose) for all adults was being considered, but a final decision was yet to be taken. Started on January 10, the booster shots are currently available for health and frontline workers and everyone aged 60 years and above.
The sources said enough vaccine stocks were available in India and the government was mulling extending further protection to those who had already received two shots. The booster dose to currently eligible people is being given upon the completion of nine months or 39 weeks from the date of administration of the second shot. India today witnessed a record low of 1,549 daily cases as against 3,47,254 recorded on January 21. Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya credited the decline in cases and successful fight against Covid to people’s participation and PM Narendra Modi’s leadership.
More than 1.81 billion Covid doses have been administered so far with over 911.9 million first doses and 785.4 million (84 per cent) second doses. In all, 21.7 million precaution doses have been given.
Among 15 to 18 year olds, 76 per cent have received the first and 48 per cent have received both doses. Among 12 to 14 year olds, 1.79 million doses have been given so far, Mandaviya said today. —
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