What is Covid-19 Booster Dose in India? How to get the Booster Doses in India, Registration, Location, Cost & Other Details is covered in this article.
There’s good news for senior citizens in India, over the age of 60 and frontline workers that work at hospitals and are at high risk from Covid-19 virus. The Indian government has announced that booster shots for persons over the age of 60 and frontline health workers will be available from January 10, 2022 onwards.
About 13 million senior citizens and two million frontline workers are expected to benefit from the third booster dose announcement, made on Saturday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a televised, nationwide address.
This is the first time that the Indian government has decided to provide booster doses to any segment of its population, though countries such as USA and UK have already started providing such jabs to its citizens.
If you’re a senior citizen or a frontline worker, it is advisable to get the booster shot of the Covid-19 vaccine and protect yourself from the dreaded contagion. Therefore, in this article, I will discuss where to get the booster Covid-19 jab, cost, location and other details, based on latest news reports.
Registration for Covid-19 Booster Dose in India
The Indian government is expected to announce the formalities for registration for the booster shots of Covid-19 jabs for senior citizens and frontline health workers shortly.
It is likely that such registrations would be done through the official Covid-19 vaccine portal, cowin.gov.in. That’s because the portal has proved very effective in helping Indians to get the Covid-19 jab either on free or paid basis from government and private clinics in the country.
Earlier, health ministry officials had announced that citizens who get the third jab cannot get a certificate since there is no mechanism to monitor the booster dose. However, this is likely to change after the booster dose announcement made over the weekend by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
If the government uses the cowin.gov.in portal for registering senior citizens and frontline health workers for the booster dose, it would also be possible to get certificates for the same from the website.
Cost of Booster Dose for Senior Citizens & Frontline Health Workers
The government has not yet announced whether the third dose or the booster dose would be available free to senior citizens and frontline health workers. However, there’re all chances that the booster dose would be given on the same basis as the first two jabs.
Through the portal, cowin.gov.in, the Indian government offers free the first two doses of the Covid-19 jab through state-run clinics, hospitals and walk-in vaccination centers. For citizens wanting to avail of the vaccines through private clinics, there’s a nominal charge.
Senior citizens and frontline health workers will get the same Covid-19 vaccine that they took for the first two doses, according to a news report published by NDTV yesterday.
“There will be no mix-and-match of vaccines for the crucial third dose to be given in view of the Omicron variant that is rapidly spreading in the country,” reports NDTV, quoting senior health ministry sources.
Gap Between 2nd Dose and Booster Dose
The third dose will be administered 9-12 months after the second dose to health and frontline workers and senior citizens with co-morbidities, according to NDTV, which reports quoting health ministry sources.
Indians took either the Covishield or Covaxin vaccines as their first two doses. Hence, they can expect the same vaccines as their third dose. Whether the third vaccine will be given free or will be paid or whether both free and paid services would be available, is yet to be announced by the Indian government.
Registration for Third Vaccine
According to news reports, registration for the third vaccine, also known as preventive vaccine, precautionary vaccine or booster dose, will be done through the portal www.cowin.gov.in
The portal will provide the window for registering for the third dose after 90 days have elapsed since the second dose, news reports suggest.
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Locations for Booster Dose of Covid-19 Vaccines
According to initial reports, the same government clinics and hospitals from where the first two jabs of Covid-19 vaccine were given, would be used to provide the booster doses too. That’s because the infrastructure has served the purpose of conducting the world’s single largest vaccine drive, very effectively.
So far, 1.4 billion Indians have been vaccinated either through government run clinics or private ones. Among these, 5.77 billion people or about 41.3 percent of the population, has been fully vaccinated.
India has one of the largest vaccination programs in the world. The country has received accolades from the World Health Organization and other bodies for rolling out the vaccination drive with superb efficiency, despite the large size of population and logistical issues.
As a result of this high number of vaccinations, some of the existing health care centers and private hospitals have surplus capacities for vaccinations, which can be utilized to provide booster doses to senior citizens and frontline health workers.
By Christmas day 2021, 120. 40 million people over the age of 60 had received their first dose of vaccine of which and 90.21 million were fully vaccinated, according to the cowin.gov.in website.
Official data also showed that 10.03 million healthcare workers had received their first dose, and 9.6 million were fully vaccinated. Furthermore, 10.83 million frontline workers had received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, and 10.68 million were fully vaccinated.
Types of Vaccinations for Booster Doses
Senior citizens and healthcare workers on the frontline are most likely to receive Covishield, the Covid-19 vaccine made by Serum Institute of India, for their booster dose.
However, the government might also consider Covaxin or Sputnik-V or other vaccines, depending on their availability and efficiency.
So far, Covishield has proven very effective and protected Indians against the deadly Delta variant of the virus. At the same time, there’re concerns that Covishield doesn’t provide much protection against the Omicron variant. That’s because some persons who were fully vaccinated with Covishield were infected by the Omicron strain of Covid-19.
The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has also approved Covovax, ZyCov-D and Covaxin for emergency use in India, especially for teens between 15 years and 18 years of age. Covovax is the Moderna vaccine, which will be made locally by Serum Institute of India. ZyCov-D is a DNA based vaccine developed by Zydus-Cadilla while Covaxin is made by Bharat Biotech.
Common Question Related to Booster Dose in India
Can I get a booster shot if I’m below 60 years of age?
No. Currently, the booster dose will be given only to senior citizens who are at least 60 years old. Only frontline healthcare workers who fall below that age is eligible to take the booster dose or the third dose, as it is called.
Will I have to pay for the booster dose?
The Indian government is yet to announce whether the booster dose will be given free of cost or there would be a nominal charge. This announcement is likely to be made before January 10, 2022, when the vaccination drive for booster doses starts.
How do I get a certificate for the booster dose?
Currently, you can get a certificate only for the first two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. The government will announce whether certificates for the booster dose will be given and the way by which you can get it, before the vaccination drive for the third jab begins on January 10, 2022.