COVID Precautionary dose: India has approved ‘precautionary’ doses of the COVID-19 vaccination for anyone over the age of 18

The Union Health Ministry stated on Friday that private vaccination sites will offer the precautionary or third dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine to those aged 18 and up. The doses would be the same as before.

On April 10, the delivery of this dose would commence. It said that those who had completed nine months after receiving the second dose would be eligible. The extension of the immunization effort, according to Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, is an “additional layer of protection.” 

New COVID infection recorded 1109

The decision comes as India recorded 1,109 new coronavirus infections, bringing the overall number of COVID-19 cases to 4,30,33,067, with 11,492 active cases, according to data released on Friday by the Health Ministry.

Although the number of cases has dropped to the triple digits, there has been an increase in several states. Kerala has recorded 2,321 new cases in the last week, accounting for roughly 30% of the country’s new cases, as well as a rise in positivity (the number of confirmed positives per test) from 13.45 percent to 15.53 percent. This prompted the Health Ministry to write to the State’s Health Secretary on Friday, requesting that he monitor clusters of new cases and necessary containment efforts for preventing infections, increase testing and take necessary steps in areas with high positivity, and step genome sequencing of samples. 

The XE variant, a highly infectious coronavirus variant that is a genetic offshoot of the BA.1 and BA.2 Omicron variants, was likely detected this week in Maharashtra, according to sources. It has been connected to a jump in infectivity in the United Kingdom and areas of Europe, although not being associated with higher disease severity. However, officials from the Union Health Ministry and Maharashtra State disputed whether it was an XE variety.

According to the Health Ministry, approximately 96 percent of the country’s 15+ population has received at least one vaccine shot, with approximately 83 percent having received both doses. In addition, over 2.2 crore prophylactic doses were given to healthcare and frontline personnel, as well as 60+ population groups.

According to the Ministry, 45 percent of youngsters aged 12 to 14 had gotten the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. “The continuing free vaccination program for the first and second doses to the eligible population, as well as the precaution dosage to healthcare personnel, frontline workers, and the 60+ population, will continue and be accelerated through Government Vaccination Centres.”

The central government set a price ceiling on COVID-19 vaccines sold in private hospitals in June of last year. The maximum price payable for Covishield is 780 dollars, Covaxin is 1,410 dollars, and Sputnik V is 1,145 dollars, according to the Ministry of Health in an order.

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