According to Union Broadcasting and Information Minister Anurag Thakur, the vaccinations are part of the government’s celebration of Azadi ka Amrit Kaal.
“India is celebrating 75 years of Independence. On the occasion of Azadi ka Amrit Kaal, it has been decided that from July 15, 2022, until the next 75 days, citizens over the age of 18 will receive free booster doses. The facility will be available at all government centers,” he said.
Furthermore, this initiative aims to elevate and accelerate India’s fight against the SARs-CoV-2 virus and add another layer of safety.
However, the recent development in India’s vaccination program comes at a time when the Union Health Ministry has released shocking data showing that nearly 594 million adults in India are now “late” to the virus. called their vaccination. Let us learn more about the report.
92% of Indians are ‘late’ to their preventive dosage, data reveals
According to data provided by the Union Health Ministry, 92% of Indians in shock, who are currently eligible for a preventive dose, have yet to receive their third dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
To be precise, nearly 594 million adults in India are now “late” to booster shots, the data reveals.
Experts believe the staggering numbers may have shed light on the recent decision to extend a free 75-day COVID vaccine.
An official source told PTI that less than 1% of the target population of 77 people aged 18-59 had received the preventive dose.
“The majority of the Indian population received the second dose more than nine months ago. Studies at ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) and other international research institutions have suggested that antibody levels are high. will taper off about six months after the primary vaccination with both doses … the official said adding a booster dose will increase the immune response.
He added: “The government is planning to initiate a special 75-day round in which individuals aged 18 to 59 will receive free preventive doses at government vaccination centers starting starting July 15.
India also reduced the gap for COVID booster shots from 9 to 6 months
On 6 July 2022, the Union Ministry of Health also reduced the time between the second and third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from nine months to six months.
Health Union Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to all heads of state stating that the revised guidelines are based on the recommendations of the Standing Technical Subcommittee (STSC) of the National Technical Advisory Group on Injections. strains (NTAGI).
“Therefore, it was decided that the preventive dose for all beneficiaries aged 18-59 years would be administered six months after completion, or 26 weeks from the date of the second dose at a vaccination centre. privately,” the letter read.
Why you should get booster injections right now
Aside from the perks of free immunization, the COVID-19 vaccine is currently our best defense against the virus. Although cases are down and infections are milder, immunity from the first and second doses can weaken over time, which is why another dose can help boost the immune response. .
Furthermore, with the new Omicron variant and its sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5 having more emphasis, boosted shots are our safest bet.
Who is eligible for the 75-day free vaccination?
All adults aged 18-59 will be eligible to receive free booster doses of the COVID vaccine as of July 15.