New Delhi: India is considering making all adults eligible for Covid-19 booster doses in view of a surge in infections in some countries and to ease difficulties being faced during international travel. Only healthcare and frontline workers and those older than 60 years are now allowed to take booster doses in India, whether free in government centres or paid for in private hospitals.
As many MPs in Parliament have called for boosters to be authorised soon for all adults, the Centre is debating whether the third dose should be provided free. The Union health ministry had recently urged states and Union territories to boost surveillance measures for the disease, citing a resurgence in some parts of Asia and Europe. Countries such as China and Italy have seen a recent rise in cases.
Covid-19 cases in India have fallen to their lowest level in over a year. The country logged 1,549 new Covid-19 cases, less than the 2,000 mark for a second consecutive day, and 31 deaths in the last 24 hours. The total count of Covid-19 cases and fatalities during the pandemic has gone up to 4,30,09,390 and 5,16,510 respectively.
The active cases comprise 0.06 per cent of total infections and the Covid-19 recovery rate nationwide is at 98.74 per cent. The daily and weekly positivity rate stands at 0.40 per cent.
India administered over 181.24 crore doses of the vaccine for Covid-19 to its adult population. The nationwide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16, 2021, with healthcare workers getting inoculated in the first phase followed by frontline workers a few weeks later. The next phase of vaccinations began on March 1 last year for people above 60 years and those aged 45 and above with specified co-morbidities. Vaccination for all people above 45 began from April 1, 2021. The government allowed vaccination for everyone above 18 years from May 1, 2021.
The next phase of Covid vaccinations began from January 3 this year for adolescents in the age group of 15-18 years. A week later, “precaution doses” of vaccines were allowed for healthcare and frontline workers and those above 60 with co-morbidities.
All people above 60 recently became eligible for precaution doses after the health ministry removed the co-morbidity clause. The prioritisation and sequencing of the dose is based on the completion of nine months, or 39 weeks, from the date of administration of the second dose.
Covid-19 vaccinations for children in the 12-14 age group started from March 16 this year. This was done weeks after schools reopened in several states. The Delhi high court on Monday asked the Centre to file a status report on Covid-19 vaccination for children below the age of 12 years. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla said the status report must be filed within three weeks and listed the matter for hearing on May 12....