A unique campaign offering a free Covid-19 booster shot will start on Friday and run for 75 days.
Beginning on 15 July, all people in the 18- to 59-year-old age range will receive free Covid-19 vaccination booster shots as part of a special 75-day drive. The free Covid booster doses campaign aims to increase the number of people who receive Covid preventive doses.
The government’s Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, which marks the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence, will include the free Covid-19 vaccination booster doses programme, according to official sources.
Less than 1% of the 77 crore-strong target population in the 18- to 59-year-old age range have received the precautionary dose. The booster dose has, however, been administered to about 26% of the estimated 16 crore eligible people aged 60 and above as well as healthcare and frontline personnel, an official source told PTI.
“The bulk of Indians had their second dose more than nine months ago. Giving a booster shot boosts the immune response, although antibody levels tend to decline six months after the main vaccination with both doses, according to study from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and other international research institutions”, added the official.
As a result, he explained, “The government is intending to launch a special drive for 75 days during which people aged 18 to 59 years will receive preventive doses for free at government vaccination centres starting on 15 July.”
The government last week changed the nine-month interval between the second and precautionary doses of the Covid-19 vaccine for all beneficiaries to six months.
(With inputs from PTI)
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