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Why does India just give the 'precaution dose' of COVID-19 vaccination rather than the 'booster dose'?

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Peeyush Ghalot
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From January 21, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that healthcare workers, frontline workers, and those over 60 with comorbidities will be eligible for a "precaution dosage". The use of 'precaution' dosages has sparked debate as to why the Centre did not refer to them as 'booster' doses, as is the global standard. Beneficiaries over the age of 18 who have already received two doses of COVID-19 vaccination are eligible for a third dosage, according to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) rules. This preventive dosage would be prioritised and sequenced depending on the completion of 9 months, or 39 weeks, following the second dose's administration date.

(Image Courtesy: - Times of India)

When the preventive dosage is due, the Co-WIN system will send SMS to such recipients to remind them to take it. The immunisation certificates will accurately record the specifics of the prophylactic dose delivery. Over and beyond the cost of the vaccine, private vaccination centres can charge up to Rs 150 as a service charge for immunisation. The precaution dosage will be the same vaccination that was used for the first and second doses. PM Narendra Modi announced the commencement of 'precautionary' dosages for frontline personnel and the over-60 population 23 days later. The key distinction between 'precautionary' and 'booster' doses is that 'precautionary' doses in India do not allow the mixing of vaccinations. Following Mr. Modi's announcement of 'precaution' doses, Dr. V.K. Paul, Member-Health, NITI Aayog, stated that the COVID-19 vaccine' precaution dosage' will be the same vaccination that was previously delivered. Beneficiaries who have already received two Covishield doses will be given simply a 'precaution dosage' of Covishield.

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