The COVID-19 booster dose will be available to people above the age of 18 at private vaccination centres from Sunday, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Friday.

“It has been decided that precaution dose of COVID vaccines will be made available to 18+ population group at private vaccination centres. The administration of Precaution Dose to 18+ population through Private Vaccination Centres would start from 10th April (Sunday), 2022,” the statement read.

“All those who are more than 18 years of age & have completed 9 months after the administration of second dose, would be eligible for Precaution Dose. This facility would be available in all Private Vaccination Centres,” it added.

According to the health ministry, the free vaccination programme at government vaccination centres for the first and second dose for those above age 60, and the precautionary shot for healthcare and frontline workers, will continue and be accelerated in the days ahead. 

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The COVID-19 vaccination programme began on January 16, 2021, across the country in multiple phases. The first phase focused on the inoculation of healthcare workers. The second phase, which commenced on February 2, 2021, aimed to immunize frontline workers. Those above 60 and above 45 with medical conditions gained eligibility for inoculation on March 1, 2021.

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On October 21, India achieved its goal of administering one crore vaccine jabs. 

On January 3, 2022, the country began the vaccination of children between 15 and 18. 

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A total of 1,85,37,83,376 Indian citizens have been immunized whereas 83,69,77,198 of them have been jabbed with the second vaccine shot.

The new booster dose for adults is a major stepping stone towards the vision of a coronavirus-free nation.