- Gap between booster and second dose of COVID-19 reduced to 6 months.
- The decision came amidst looming concerns of new strains and vaccine expiry.
- The third dose- precautionary dose/booster dose was earlier administered after a period of 9 months.
New Delhi: The Centre on Wednesday slashed the gap between the second dose and the booster dose of COVID-19. As per the new notification by the NTAGI, the booster dose can now be taken after six months after the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The health ministry said, “In view of the evolving scientific evidence and global practices, Standing Technical Sub Committee (STSC) of National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) has recommended to revise the duration between 2nd dose and precaution dose from the existing 9 months or 39 weeks to 6 months or 26 weeks. This has also been endorsed by NTAGI.”
This decision by the centre came amidst the slow uptake of booster doses, looming threat of expiry of vaccine stock and concerns regarding new strains of Covid-19.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan writing to the states said- the Centre “decided that the precaution dose for all beneficiaries from 18-59 years will be administered after the completion of 6 months or 26 weeks from the date of administration of 2nd dose at Private Covid Vaccination Centres (CVCs).” His letter further informed about the revision of the booster dose administration.
Corresponding changes have been made in the Cowin system to facilitate the new dispensation, the letter added. The third dose aims to boost the immunity which is likely to wane 7-8 months after vaccination or the second dose.