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India’s National Health Authority (NHA) said on Monday that healthcare workers and those above the age of 60 will be eligible for a ‘precautionary dose’ of vaccine against Covid-19 only after nine months of receiving the second jab.

 

“When you are more than 60 years of age and you have already been given two doses and if you want to register for the third dose, the gap between the second dose and the day you are registering or the day you are getting the third dose should be more than nine months which is 39 weeks,” Dr RS Sharma, the chief executive officer of NHA, was quoted as saying by a news agency.

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Sharma stressed the need for a comorbidity certificate from a registered physician for the third shot.

 

“When you are eligible and you register, you will be asked whether you suffer from any of the comorbidities which have already been described in the earlier circular by the health ministry. If you say yes I do suffer from comorbidity then you can register and thereafter you can go to the vaccination centre. You have to show your comorbidity certificate given by your registered physician to summarise your problem doctor and thereafter you will be able to get the job so there is nothing different. The rules related to registration are the same and rules related to vaccinations are the same,” he told ANI.

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On Christmas Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country would begin administering ‘precautionary doses’ to those above the age of 60 and suffering from co-morbidities from January 10, next year. Children aged 15-18 will also be eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine from January 3.

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According to reports, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, which has been granted approval for restricted use in an emergency situation in the age group between 12 and 18 years, is likely to be the only vaccine available for children.

 

The key decisions came amid growing concerns over a third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic which, experts fear, will be fuelled by the Omicron variant of coronavirus.