Free Covid-19 vaccine booster shots for 18-59 age group from today

New Delhi: All the adults aged between 18-59 will be able avail free COVID-19 booster shots at government centres over the next 75 days fr...

New Delhi: All the adults aged between 18-59 will be able avail free COVID-19 booster shots at government centres over the next 75 days from Friday, said officials.

"The drive will start from today and continue for the next 75 days. We'll try to vaccinate all the citizens between 18-59 years of age," said Dr Bijay Panigrahi, Director, Family Welfare & Nodal Officer Vaccination.

According to central government data, so far less than 1 percent of the target population of 77 crore in the 18-59 age group have been administered the precautionary dose.

However, around 26 percent of the estimated 16 crore eligible population aged 60 and above as well as healthcare and frontline workers have received the booster dose, PTI reported quoting an official.

Taking the booster dose increases the antibody titer some more notches and that is why the government is encouraging people to take it, said Dr Priya Abraham, Director, National Institute of Virology.

As a part of the 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of India's Independence, the Centre had announced that all adults would be able to get free booster doses of the coronavirus vaccines at government centres under a special drive for 75 days starting Friday.

To a question, Abraham said, "Studies are required to know whether boosters will be needed in future. There is no guidance so far to take the fourth, fifth or sixth dose. The government of India takes decisions based on studies," she said.

A pan coronavirus vaccine which will be able to fight all variants of the disease is the long-term goal, the NIV official said.

"Scientists should build a vaccine that has broader composition so that the immune response is also broader and individuals are also protected from other coronaviruses in future," she said.

On the monkeypox situation in the country, Abraham said, "Periodically we get suspect cases. But there is none (confirmed case) at the moment."

With inputs from PTI

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India World News: Free Covid-19 vaccine booster shots for 18-59 age group from today
Free Covid-19 vaccine booster shots for 18-59 age group from today
India World News
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