Over the last few weeks, the number of COVID-19 cases, as well as the Omicron variant are on a fast rise. Many state governments have already imposed night and weekend curfews to curb the spreading virus.
India recorded 1,79,723 new covid infections, taking the country's total tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,57,07,727, while the active cases increased to 7,23,619, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on at 8 am. The number of deaths climbed to 4,83,936 with 146 fresh fatalities, according to the data.
Teens in the age group of 15-17 years started receiving their first dose of vaccine against Covid-19 from the previous Monday, January 3.
Amidst the rising number of daily COVID-19 cases, the administration of the COVID-19 booster doses to all the health and frontline workers and immuno-compromised seniors in India, begins today.
Frontline and healthcare workers and citizens above the age of 60 and with co-morbidities are eligible for the booster third dose of the vaccine. The co-morbidities like diabetes, hypertension, and other chronic ailments will get the option of getting the dose on the advice of their doctor. The Health Ministry has stated that there is no need to register for the vacccine doses. Those who are eligible for the 3rd jab can directly take an appointment or walk into any vaccination centre.
If you are eligible for the COVID-19 booster dose, you don't need to bring along any doctor's certificate to the vaccine booth. However, it is important to consult a doctor before getting the dose. The government has advised a minimum gap of 9 months between the second and the third dose.
Also, there will be no mix and match of the vaccines: This means if you have received Covishield as the first two doses, then the 3rd dose will also be Covishield. The same rule applies for Covaxin.
According to Dr Rommel Tickoo, Director - Internal Medicine, Max Healthcare, "boosters are being recommended because data is showing that protection against mild and moderate COVID-19 via the initial vaccine series declines over time - particularly for those who were vaccinated some time ago. Added to that is the concern about the new COVID-19 variant, omicron. Research suggests that getting a booster dose can decrease your risk of infection and severe illness with COVID-19. Those with comorbidities and immunocompromised status are a high risk for COVID-19 related complications and would really benefit from a booster shot."
According to the CDC, the Covid-19 vaccine remains effective in preventing severe disease but its effectiveness can wane over time, especially for the eldery. Also, the emergence of the Omicron variant emphasizes the importance of vaccination, boosters, and prevention efforts needed to protect against coronavirus. Hence, a booster is important.
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