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COVID-19 Precautionary Dose; Appointment for third vaccine opens today.

The Union Health Ministry said that the eligible population - healthcare workers, frontline workers and people above 60 years of age who have already received two doses of the vaccine, can directly book an appointment or walk into any COVID-19 vaccination center.

As per the announcement made by the Central Government, the appointments for the ‘Precautionary Dose’ of the Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) Vaccine in India will start from Saturday. The Center has also said that no fresh registration in the CoWin platform will be required for those taking the shot.

On Friday, the Union Health Ministry said that the eligible population – health workers, frontline workers and people above 60 years of age who have already received two doses of the vaccine, can directly book an appointment or walk into any COVID-19 Vaccination Center.

“The schedule will be published on January 8. The facility of online appointment will also start by Friday evening. Vaccination with onsite appointment starts from January 10,” news agency ANI quoted a statement from the ministry as saying.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 25 had announced the Centre’s decision to give ‘precautionary doses’ of the vaccine amid the spread of the Omicron variant, which has led to a surge in Covid-19 cases and concerns about an imminent third wave of infections.

The Centre has already notified the states and Union territories that for each recipient, the third dose would be the same shot that was used for the first two doses.

On Thursday, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, in a letter to states and UTs, said, “National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) recommends the administration of in-house vaccine for HCWS, FLW and the elderly (for more than 60 years age) has recommended with co-morbidities i.e. the same vaccine that has been administered for the last two doses will be given as a precautionary dose to the eligible beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, the country’s vaccination drive administered 1.5 billion (150 crore) doses of the vaccine on Friday, a feat that was hailed by PM Modi and Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya.

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