According to Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Tagore, the vaccination drive is part of the government’s Independence Day celebrations.
“India is celebrating 75 years of independence. On the occasion of Azadi Ka Amrit Kal, it has been decided that from July 15, 2022 for the next 75 days, free booster dose will be given to citizens above 18 years of age. This facility will be available in all government centers, ”he said.
In addition, the initiative aims to improve and encourage India’s fight against the SARs-CoV-2 virus and add another layer of protection.
However, the recent development of India’s immunization program comes at a time when the Union Ministry of Health has released startling data that says about 594 million adults in India are now “late” for their so-called warning shots. Let’s learn more about the report.
92% of Indians disclose data ‘late’ for taking their warning dose
According to the data provided by the Union Ministry of Health, a staggering 92 per cent of Indians, who are currently eligible for the precautionary dose, have not yet received their third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Specifically, about 594 million adults in India are now “late” for their booster shots, according to data.
Experts believe that the staggering statistics shed light on the recent decision of the 75-day free COVID vaccination window.
An official source told PTI that less than 1 per cent of the 77 crore population aged 18-59 has been given a warning dose.
“The majority of the Indian population received their second dose more than nine months ago. Research by ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) and other international research institutes has shown that antibody levels decrease about six months after the initial vaccination with both doses … given a booster Increases immunity, ”the official said.
“The government is therefore planning to launch a special drive for 75 days in which people between the ages of 18 and 59 will be given free alert doses at government vaccination centers from July 15,” he added.
India has also reduced the interval for COVID booster shots from 9 to 6 months
On July 6, 2022, the Union Ministry of Health also reduced the period between the second dose of COVID0-19 vaccine and the third dose of precaution from nine months to six months.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to the heads of all the states that the revised guidelines were based on the recommendations made by the Standing Technical Sub-Committee (STSC) of the National Technical Advisory Group (NTGI) on vaccination.
“Therefore, it has been decided that the cautionary dose for all beneficiaries aged 18-59 years will be given after the completion of six months or within 26 weeks from the date of giving the second dose at a private vaccination center,” the letter said. .
Why you need to get your booster shot now
In addition to the benefits of free vaccination, COVID-19 vaccines are currently our best protection against the virus. Although the case has decreased and the infection has become milder, immunity from the first and second doses may decrease over time, which is why another dose can help boost immunity.
Furthermore, with the new Omicron variant and its submarines BA.4 and BA.5 gaining more ground, booster shots are our safest bet.
Who is eligible for 75-day free vaccination?
All adults aged 18-59 will be eligible to be vaccinated with the free COVID vaccine booster dose from 15 July.