Booster doses for frontline workers, senior citizens start today
Booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be administered to select groups across India from Monday (January 10). The development comes as the new Omicron variant of coronavirus drives a third wave of infections in the country. A booster shot refers to an additional or third dose, given months after the traditional two-dose course of a coronavirus shot.
Why does this story matter?
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi had, in December 2021, announced the government's decision to start administering the booster dose to select groups.
- The move notably comes amid growing concerns over India's COVID-19 situation.
- Daily new cases have jumped from 10,000 to nearly 1.6 lakh in a span of 10 days.
- India has also reported more than 4,000 cases of the highly-infectious Omicron strain.
Who is eligible for the precautionary dose?
Healthcare workers, frontline staffers, and those who are aged above 60 years and suffer from co-morbidities are eligible for the booster dose. The co-morbidities listed by the Union Health Ministry include diabetes, hypertension, and other chronic ailments. The third dose will be administered nine months after the administration of the second dose, according to the government.
Online appointments, walk-ins allowed
The option of online applications for the booster dose is available but no new registration on the Co-WIN platform would be required. Eligible people can also walk in to any of the vaccination centers. Further, the Centre has clarified that the same vaccine as used for the first two doses will be used for the third shot.
COVID-19 situation in India
India recorded 1,79,723 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours. The daily positivity rate stands at 13.29% and the weekly positivity rate at 7.92%. Meanwhile, the country has also reported 4,033 cases of the Omicron variant across 27 states and union territories. Maharashtra has seen the highest number related infections so far at over 1,000.
India's vaccination drive
More than 151.94 crore coronavirus vaccine doses have been administered in India, according to the Health Ministry. Earlier this month, COVID-19 vaccination was started for those aged between 15 and 18 years. Over two crore teenagers have since received their first dose.