Precautionary dose from Jan 10, high turnout for 60+ expected

Even as the union health ministry said bookings for the “precaution dose” will open on Saturday, the slots for Delhi did not become available till late evening. The precaution dose will be administered to all healthcare and frontline workers, and those above the age of 60 years with co-morbidities at existing centres starting Monday, according to a Delhi government official.

“The slots will open up tonight; a separate option called precaution dose will become available on the CoWIN portal along with the option of Dose 1 and Dose 2. Those who received their second dose nine months ago will be able to book these slots. The vaccines will be administered at the existing sites; the capacity of the sites will be increased by 20% for precaution dose,” the official said.

Even though there will be no challenge in identifying the healthcare workers and frontline workers because a separate database had been created when the vaccination drive was first rolled out in January last year, the official said all those above the age of 60 can get the shot if they verbally confirm that a doctor had suggested it.

“There will be no need for a medical prescription; the beneficiaries will just be asked if their doctor recommended getting the shot. If they say yes, they will be given the dose. The central government estimates that 20% of those above the age of 60 years will be co-morbid and need the precaution dose. However, we are going with the assumption that many more will turn up because of the omicron scare,” the official said.

The official added that centres will be given 20% more vaccine doses on Monday for the precaution shots, with the capacity of increasing it by another 10% if many people turn up at the centre. “If there are more persons, then the sites can get more doses from their cold chain which is always nearby,” the official said.

Any healthcare or frontline worker who may have received their shot when the vaccination drive was opened up for the general public can now get registered as a healthcare or frontline worker by showing their official ID card to get the precaution dose.

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