Precaution dose: No prescription needed for elderly

Precaution dose: No prescription required for senior citizens

The senior citizens who completed nine months of the second dose would be eligible for the shot from January 10 onward.

Representative image. Credit: AFP Photo

Senior citizens will not have to produce doctors' prescriptions when they go for a “precautionary shot” of the Covid-19 vaccine from the second week of January, the Union Health Ministry clarified on Tuesday.

Chairing a review meeting with the states, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said doctor's prescription or certificates were not mandated to be produced at the vaccination centres for the jab and there were no such directives from the government.

Doctors advice, according to a ministry statement, is an indication for the 60 plus persons to consult with their physicians before opting for a precaution dose.

Also read: Maharashtra Covid-19 cases see a massive jump

The senior citizens who completed nine months of the second dose would be eligible for the shot from January 10 onward. The same criteria would also be applicable for healthcare and frontline workers, who were among the first two groups of people to have received the Covid-19 shots when vaccination began in January.

People who would be on election-duty in the five poll bound states – Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur - are to be included in the frontline worker category so that they can be administered an additional dose for precaution.

Bhushan said the Co-WIN platform would send reminder messages to all those eligible for precaution dose and such doses would be reflected in the digital vaccination certificates. However, there is still no clarity on the choice of vaccine for the precautionary shot.

According to an estimate by the Union Health Ministry, there are more than 2.75 crore elderly people having one of the comorbidities, of which 37 lakh are in Uttar Pradesh. Karnataka has 15 lakh such persons.

Bhushan also wrote to the states detailing what needed to be done while expanding the vaccination for adolescents (15-18 years), elderly, healthcare workers and frontline workers in the first two weeks of January following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement on Christmas Day.

The adolescents have not been given any choice with the vaccine for the time being with the Centre deciding on home grown Covaxin for the 15-18 years. The states have been told to open up separate vaccination centres for the youngsters.

If the same centre is used for vaccination of children and adults, then separate rooms, vaccination teams and queues have been suggested to avoid confusion and the chances of vaccine mix up.

There are an estimated 7.4 crore adolescents between 15-18 years of which more than 1.4 crore are in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh. Karnataka has nearly 32 lakh such adolescents.

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