Booster dose of Covid vaccine a must: Experts

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LUCKNOW: Over 1.5-crore residents in Uttar Pradesh are eligible for a booster/precaution dose of Covid vaccine, yet just 3460383 have taken it, according to the data.

A total of 16663030 beneficiaries had got their second dose of the Covid vaccine administered by September 20, 2021 and all were above 18 years of age. The booster dose is given nine months after the second dose, hence 1.66 crore people are now eligible for it. Vaccination for beneficiaries below 18 years started on March 16 this year.

Experts said more people should take the precaution jab. “As new Covid cases started to fall in April and May and people got to know that Covid had become milder, they started avoiding vaccination, but this is not correct,” said Dr Kauser Usman, senior faculty, King George’s Medical University.

Experts cited another reason. “Since booster dose for people between 18 and 60 years is a paid one and at private vaccination centres, many people are avoiding it for this reason too. Availability of booster dose is also an issue,” said a senior health official.

“Beneficiaries between 18 and 60 years of age who got their first two doses free at government vaccination centres might not be keen on spending money for a third dose,” said Dr PK Gupta, former president, Indian Medical Association, Lucknow.

“Some people think they do not need a precaution dose as there is no current wave. This is a misconception,” said Dr Gupta.

“Third or precaution dose is needed to face possibility of any further wave. With a third dose, the body’s resistance against the Covid virus remains strong,” he said

“Cost of each dose of the Covid vaccine has gone down as compared to 2021 so money should not be a consideration,” said Dr Abhishek Shukla, secretary general, Association of International Doctors.


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