Home / News / Free Covid vaccine booster shot for 18-59 age group from Friday

People in the age group of 18-59 will be given free Covid vaccine booster shots from Friday, July 15, official sources were quoted as saying by the news agency PTI on Wednesday. The free Covid-19 vaccine booster shot is a special drive that will continue for 75 days beginning Friday.

Under the special 75-day drive, all adults in the 18-59 age group will be vaccinated with the Covid-19 vaccine booster doses free of cost from July 15. The free Covid vaccine booster doses drive is aimed at boosting the uptake of Covid precaution doses.

The free Covid-19 vaccine booster doses drive will be held as part of the government's Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to celebrate the 75th anniversary of India's Independence, the official sources said.

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Less than 1 per cent of the target population of 77 crore in the 18-59 age group have been administered the precaution dose. However, around 26 per cent of the estimated 16 crore eligible population aged 60 and above as well as healthcare and frontline workers have received the booster dose, an official source told PTI.

"A majority of the Indian population got their second dose over nine months ago. Studies at ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) and other international research institutions have suggested that antibody levels wane around six months after the primary vaccination with both doses... giving a booster increases the immune response," the official said.

"The government is therefore planning to start a special drive for 75 days during which individuals aged between 18 and 59 years will be administered precaution doses for free at government vaccination centres starting from July 15," he said.

Last week, the government had reduced the gap between the second and precaution Covid-19 vaccine doses for all beneficiaries from nine to six months. 

The government had also announced the second round of ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ campaign 2.0 across the country and UTs to speed up the pace of vaccination. 

India started administering precaution or booster doses of the Covid-19 vaccines to all aged above 18 years. The vaccination drive had begun last year in January to prevent the coronavirus infection.

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