When the “precautionary” dose of the coronavirus vaccine begins to be administered on January 10, the first recipients will likely be those older than 60 years with associated comorbidities, and those who got their second dose nine months previously, The Indian Express has learnt.
The decision to keep the interval between the second and third doses at nine months has been based on the findings of five scientific studies carried out by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), Faridabad, top government sources who were part of the deliberations, told The Indian Express.
Gap between 2nd Covid vaccine shot and ‘precaution dose’ likely to be 9-12 months
The gap between the second dose of Covid-19 vaccine and the third, which is being called a “ precaution dose”, is likely to be nine to 12 months, official sources said on Sunday.The nitty-gritty of the gaps in the vaccines currently being used in India’s inoculation programme Covishield and Covaxin is being worked out, and a final decision over this will be taken soon, they said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a televised address to the nation on Saturday night, announced that vaccination against COVID-19 for children between 15-18 years will start from January 3, while “precaution dose” for healthcare and frontline workers would be administered from January 10.
The decisions came amid rising Covid cases linked to the Omicron variant of the virus.
PM Modi said the precaution dose will also be available for citizens above 60 years of age and with comorbidities on the advice of their doctor from January 10 next year as well.
The precautionary dose denotes a third dose of the vaccine for the fully vaccinated, but PM Modi refrained from using the term “booster dose”, as it is generally referred to.
“The gap between the second and the precautionary dose of Covid vaccine is likely to be nine to 12 months with the immunisation division and the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) discussing on these lines,” a source said.