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Booster shots will be available at private clinics starting Sunday for adults!

The Centre has opened booster shots, or ‘precaution dose’, of Covid vaccines for all adults aged 18 years and above at private vaccination centres. Over 2.4 crore people have already received the precautionary dose across the country under the government programme. The ongoing free vaccination programme through government vaccination centres for the first, second and precautionary doses will continue.

India has administered 185 crore doses of Covid vaccines so far, according to the Cowin dashboard. Covishield accounted for 83.3% of all doses administered in India, while Covaxin accounted for about 16%. The definition of ‘precaution dose’ will continue to be the same, which means mixing of doses of different jabs will not be allowed.

‘Adding an extra layer of security! Precautionary doses will be provided to those aged 18 and up beginning on April 10, 2022, at private vaccination clinics. All 18+ who have completed nine months after the administration of the second dosage will be eligible for precaution dose,’ health minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted. In June of last year, the Centre set a limit of Rs 150 per dosage for administration fees at private vaccination centres. The Centre directed private vaccination centres not to charge more than Rs 780 for Covishield, Rs 1,410 for Covaxin, and Rs 1,145 for Sputnik V, including taxes and administration fees.

Covishield costs Rs 600 for every dosage in private clinics, Covaxin costs Rs 1,200, and Sputnik V costs Rs 948 per dose (excluding GST). Corbevax will be priced at Rs 800 for each dosage, according to Biological E. (excluding all taxes). Following the news, the Serum Institute of India (SII) announced that the prophylactic dosage of its Covishield vaccination will be marketed at Rs 600 per injection for eligible persons. Bharat Biotech, the manufacturer of Covaxin, has yet to announce a private market pricing for a booster dosage. Currently, over 96 per cent of the country’s population aged 15 and above have received at least one Covid vaccination shot, with approximately 83 per cent receiving both doses.

On February 17, TOI was the first to disclose that the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) was analysing data and would likely make a decision on the booster dose-expansion soon. The decision to extend the third treatment to all adults is significant since several nations, including China, are experiencing a new increase in infections. Positive cases are also on the rise in several Indian states, however, the general issue remains under control.

The change is also considered an extra precaution to provide protection in the aftermath of the new XE model, however, experts do not see it as a serious problem. However, because the bulk of the population aged 15 and over has already got two doses and appropriate vaccinations are available, the decision was made so that individuals who wish to take the third injection can do so, according to an official. This development is likely to clear the vaccine manufacturers’ inventories. SII and Bharat Biotech both recently halted Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing due to poor demand and inventory buildup.

Researchers from Pune’s National Institute of Virology (NIV) recently told TOI that booster doses of Covid vaccines should be given to all adults because research shows that immunity from the first two doses of vaccines fades significantly after eight months and a third dose can protect against Omicron and future variants of concerns (VOCs).  As SII CEO Adar Poonawalla noted, the government’s decision to grant prophylactic vaccinations to anyone over 18 at private vaccination centers will offer long-term immunity against the Coronavirus and make traveling easier.


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