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NEW DELHI : In a first, Biological E’s covid-19 vaccine--Corbevax will now be available as precaution/booster dose for all adult individuals who are fully vaccinated either with Covishield or Covaxin, the union health ministry said on Wednesday allowing Corbevax has a heterologous covid-19 vaccine for booster dose. 

The Centre further said that all necessary changes in the regard to administration of heterologous precaution dose using Corbevax to those who are eligible and due for precaution dose have been made on the CoWIN portal. This provision would be live from 12th August (Friday) onwards. 

“Based on the scientific evidence, global practices and recommendations of domain knowledge experts, it has now been decided to further redefine the precaution dose administration under covid-19 vaccination programe. It is to convey that Corbevax will be available as precaution dose after completion of 6 months or 26 weeks from the date of administration of the second dose of either Covaxin or Covishield vaccines for population above 18 years of age. This enables use of Corbevax heterologous covid-19 vaccines for precaution dose administration in this age group," Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary, communicated to all states/UTs in a letter seen by Mint. 

Biological’s E spokespeople refused to comment on Mint’s queries emailed and texted to them. 

The decision is said to have been taken after the health ministry received the recommendation of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) covid-19 working group. As of now, booster dose is of the same vaccine as per the primary vaccination regime. 

On June 4, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) gave nod to Corbevax as a precaution dose for 18+ age population. 

Bhushan further stated that there will be no change existing guidelines for homologous precaution dose administration of Covaxin and Covishield vaccine. “In addition to the existing homologous precaution dose, the option of a heterologous precaution dose with Corbevax would be available to all persons above 18 years of age," he said. 

 India has administered more than 207.03 crore vaccine dose so far under the nationwide covid-19 vaccination drive. As per the data revealed by the health ministry, about 97% of the population above 12 years of age have been covered with atleast first dose while 89% of the said population have recevied both the doses. 

The union government lauded the achievement they have made under the campaign called-- “Covid-19 Vaccination Amrit Mahotsav" which started from 15th July to cover all eligible beneficiaries above 18 years with free of charge precaution dose at all government vaccination centres . This campaign will be active till 30th September being conducted to mark the country’s 75th Independence Day celebration. 

The health ministry has instructed states to accelerate the precaution dose coverage during the ongoing free precaution dose vaccination drive.

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