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Doctor certificate not needed for 60 years plus to avail boosters: Govt
New Delhi: The Union Government has said that people above 60 years with comorbidities will not be required to upload or provide a medical certificate from a doctor to be eligible for the "precautionary" dose of Covid-19 vaccine.Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to Chief Secretaries of all states and union territories passing certain directions related to the vaccination does...
New Delhi: The Union Government has said that people above 60 years with comorbidities will not be required to upload or provide a medical certificate from a doctor to be eligible for the "precautionary" dose of Covid-19 vaccine.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to Chief Secretaries of all states and union territories passing certain directions related to the vaccination does for children aged between 15 and 17 years of age and precaution dose for healthcare workers and those 60 and above.
The government has said that those aged above 60 years can take booster shots without producing any medical certificate from a doctor. However, as a precautionary measure, the government also advised them to take advice from their doctor before taking the booster dose.
Also Read: Vaccination to start for 15-18 age group but some call decision Unscientific
Bhushan told the states that around 2.75 crore comorbid population in the 60-plus age group are eligible for the precautionary dose, stating, "All persons aged 60 years and above with co-morbidities will not be required to produce/submit any certificate from a doctor, at the time of administration of precaution dose. Such persons are expected to obtain the advice of their doctor before deciding to avail of the precaution dose."
According to a media report in The Indian Express, Bhushan told the states that all healthcare workers and FLWs aged less than 60 years who registered themselves at the Co-WlN system as citizens would have to get their status appropriately assigned to HCW or FLW to avail the precaution dose.
He added, "However, in order to do so, they must produce the employment certificate in the prescribed format. This facility will only be available at Government Vaccination Centres in on-site mode. This can be availed at the time of administration of the precaution dose at Government Vaccination Centers."
The Covid-19 vaccination for children between 15-17 years of age would be beginning from January 3, 2021, and the drive for healthcare workers and those above 60 years and above would begin from January 10.
The teenagers could avail of both walk-in and online registration through CoWin facilities. The registration on CoWIN platform will begin from January 1 and onsite registration from January 3, reports Republic TV.
The only vaccination that is considered at the moment is 'Covaxin' as it is the only Covid vaccine with EUL under the 15-18 age groups and necessary recommendation of "COVID-19 Working group" of NTAGI.
States and Union Territories have been directed to set up separate dedicated Covid vaccination centres for 15-18 age groups and to ensure that no mixing of vaccines is done. The health ministry has said, "Separate queue with proper and prominent signages and separate vaccination team must be used, if the identified session site is same where adult vaccination is also ongoing."
The health secretary said that the states must "publicize adequately in advance" the details of the session sites where the vaccination drive for children under 15-18 age group would be made available. He said, "Appointments can be booked online or onsite (walk-in). Services in the on-site (walk-in) mode will be available subject to availability of vaccination slots. lt is advised that beneficiaries should ascertain the availability of slots for the vaccination centre of their choice on Co-WlN."
For the precautionary dose, Bhushan informed that an SMS would be sent by the Co-Win system to such beneficiaries for availing the dose when it becomes due. He said, "Registration and appointment services can be accessed through both, the online and the onsite modes. The details of administration of the precaution dose will be suitably reflected in the digital vaccination certificates generated from Co-WlN."
The centre also stated the possibility of high instances of crowding in the poll-bound states, due to which it is important for these states to maximize vaccine coverage within the next week and fortnight. He specifically highlighted that personnel employed in the poll bound state would be included under the category of frontline workers, who are eligible for the precautionary dose.
"Next week and fortnight are crucial in these states to maximize the vaccination coverage. These states must review the implementation of their district-wise vaccination plans on a daily basis to ensure that the speed and coverage of Covid-19 vaccination is enhanced significantly", Bhushan said.
Rajesh Bhushan stated, "These States must review the implementation of their district-wise vaccination plans on a daily basis to ensure that the speed & coverage of COVID-19 vaccination is enhanced significantly."
Also Read: Study explains faster transmission of the Omicron virus and why third dose might be needed
Revu is currently pursuing her masters from University of Hyderabad. With a background in journalism, she joined Medical Dialogues in 2021.