The Centre on Thursday told all states and UTs that the same COVID-19 vaccine which was administered as first two doses would be given as a precaution dose to healthcare and frontline workers, besides the elderly suffering from co-morbidities, whose inoculation would begin from January 10.
Private hospitals that function as Covid vaccination centres can vaccinate their staff (doctors, paramedics etc) at the hospital itself, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said in a letter to states and union territories.
They may choose to bear the cost and provide the precaution dose free of cost to their staff, who are eligible and due, or they may provide the vaccination and charge for it.
Under the National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, more than 148 crore vaccine doses have been successfully administered.
Mr Bhushan said 91 per cent of the adult population has received at least one dose and 66 per cent has been fully vaccinated. More than 17 per cent of adolescents aged 15 to 18 years have also been vaccinated with the first dose within three days of initiation of vaccination for this age group, he said. “All these are landmark achievements,” the health secretary said.
“The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) has recommended the administration of homologous vaccine for HCWS, FLWS and elders (over 60 years of age) with co-morbidities i.e. the same vaccine that has been administered for previous two doses would be given as the precaution dose to the eligible beneficiaries,” Bhushan said in the letter.
“The administration of precaution dose to all eligible HCWS and FLWS of armed forces, special forces under the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Cabinet Secretariat may also be facilitated as was done during their primary two dose vaccination,” he said in the letter addressed to additional chief secretary, principal secretary, secretary (health) of all states and UTs.