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Health Ministry reduces gap between second vaccine dose and booster dose

The COVID-19 booster dose gap for adult beneficiaries in India has been lowered from the previously decided nine-month period to a six-month period by the Union Health Ministry. The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization's advice served as the foundation for the decision.

July 06, 2022 / 06:02 PM IST
Representative image/AFP

Representative image/AFP

The Union health ministry has reduced the gap for COVID 19 booster dose from existing nine months to six months for all adults in India. The decision has been taken based on a recommendation by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization. Till now, only those who had completed 9 months since their second dose of COVID19 vaccination were allowed to receive their precaution dose.

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In a letter to the state chief secretaries, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote that in view of the evolving scientific evidence and global practices, "Standing Technical a sub Committee" (STSC) of "National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization" (NTAGI) has recommended revising the duration between second dose and the precaution dose from the existing gap of nine months or 39 weeks to six months or 26 weeks.

"This has also been endorsed by NTAGI," he wrote. Therefore, it has now been decided that the precaution dose for all beneficiaries from 18-59 years will be administered after the completion of six months or 26 weeks from the date of administration of the second dose at Private Covid Vaccination Centers (CVCs), said the letter.


COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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COVID-19 vaccine protects people of all body weights: Lancet study

For beneficiaries aged 60 years and above as well as Health Care Workers and Front Line Workers, the precaution dose would be administered after the completion of six months or 26 weeks from the date of administration of the second dose at government CVCs, free of charge. Corresponding changes have been made in the COWIN system to facilitate the revised timeline for vaccination, as per the ministry.
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first published: Jul 6, 2022 05:42 pm
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