Skip to main content

The precautionary dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will be given to healthcare workers, frontline workers and people aged 60 and over with comorbidities.

The precautionary dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to be given to healthcare workers, frontline workers and people aged 60 and over with comorbidities will be the same as that of the first two vaccines, the government announced on Wednesday 6 January.

All arrangements are on track to start inoculating beneficiaries in these categories from January 10, NITI Aayog (Health) member Dr. VK Paul said during the weekly COVID-19 briefing. “The precautionary dose of the COVID-19 vaccine that will be given to healthcare workers, frontline workers as well as people aged 60 and over with comorbidities will be of the same vaccine they were given previously. Those who received the first two doses of Covishield will receive Covishield and those who had received Covaxin would be administered Covaxin,” Paul said.

He further said a tab was kept on information, science and emerging data on mixing vaccines and heterologous approaches. According to the “Guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination of children between 15-18 years old and the precautionary dose for health workers, field workers and the population aged 60 and over with comorbidities” recently published by the Ministry of Union Health, the prioritization and sequencing of the precautionary dose for beneficiaries would be based on the completion of nine months from the date of administration of the second dose, i.e. 39 weeks.

They will be able to access the vaccination for the precautionary dose through their existing CoWIN account, according to the guidelines that came into effect on January 3.

Eligibility for the precautionary dose will be based on the date of administration of the second dose recorded in the CoWIN system, which will send a text message to claim the precautionary dose when it is due, according to the guidelines.

Meanwhile, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization’s (CDSCO) COVID-19 Subject Matter Expert Committee (SEC) on Tuesday gave approval to Bharat Biotech to conduct the Phase 3 superiority trial. and booster dose for its intranasal COVID-19 vaccine for participants previously vaccinated with Covishield or Covaxin, sources said.

The SEC had on Dec. 10 said that the Serum Institute of India (SII) should submit local clinical trial data and a proposal, along with a rationale, for booster dose approval.

On November 30, in a request to the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), Prakash Kumar Singh, Director of Government and Regulatory Affairs at SII, had requested permission to use Covishield for booster doses, citing sufficient stock of the vaccine in the country and demand for recalls due to the emergence of new coronavirus variants.