Continuing the fight against Covid 19, the Health Ministry began Covid-19 precaution dose for all above 60 years on March 16, 2022, National Vaccination Day, at all Government Covid Vaccination Centers. Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a televised address to the nation, had announced that a “precaution dose” for frontline workers, and only people with co-morbidities above 60 years of age would be administered from January 10, 2022.

Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Mansukh Mandaviya also informed of the development while urging everyone to get vaccinated with the precaution dose after a gap of nine months or 36 weeks from the date of administration of the second dose.

According to the guidelines issued by the Ministry, the precaution dose should be with the same vaccine with which the primary vaccination was done.

“Underscoring slow pace of vaccination among the vulnerable groups, States were urged to ensure that all those above 60 years of age are covered with both doses of Covid-19 vaccine. Regular reviews to be conducted at District and Block levels to ensure coverage of eligible beneficiaries,” noted the Press Information Bureau’s notification.

“Today is an important day in India’s efforts to vaccinate our citizens. Now onwards all those above 60 are eligible for precaution doses. I urge people to get vaccinated,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet.

Why should those above 60 years should take the vaccine?

Dr Manjiri Karlekar, endocrinologist consultant, Zen Multispeciality Hospital said that everyone who has been recommended to take the precaution dose should take it without fail irrespective of co-morbidities. “Getting jabbed will reduce the rate of hospital admissions, and one will be able to protect people around him/her. Vaccination is a vital tool to curb the spread of Covid-19,” she said.

What should you do post vaccination?

One may have side effects such as fever, pain and swelling at the injection site, body pain, or a headache. “But, don’t fret. Avoid doing any strenuous activities after taking the dose. Eat a nutritious diet, stay hydrated by drinking water and rest enough. If you are taking any medication, do so only after consulting the doctor,” said Dr Karlekar.

World Health Organization advises that people should do everything possible to stop the spread of the virus in order to prevent mutations. “This means staying at least 1 metre away from others, covering a cough or sneeze in your elbow, frequently cleaning your hands, wearing a mask and avoiding poorly ventilated rooms or opening a window.”

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