The Centre on Friday announced that booster vaccine doses against Covid-19 will be available for everyone above the age of 18 years from April 10. These shots will be available at private vaccination centres, and will be paid, while the government’s free vaccination campaign continues.
The precautionary dose has been approved amid reports of a new variant, XE, emerging in the UK and a few cases popping up in India. The booster doses were first introduced after the Omicron variant began spreading across the country late last year. So far, the government has approved booster doses for healthcare workers and for the elderly. Over 2.4 crore precaution doses have been administered across the country to healthcare workers, frontline workers and people above the age of 60 years.
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No, the Centre has not mandated taking booster shots. It is a voluntary choice and paid. However, healthcare experts recommend taking a booster dose of Covid-19 to enhance antibodies and immunity against SARS-CoV-2.
Similar to what we experienced after taking the first jab of the Covid-19 vaccine, people might see some temporary symptoms that include sore, swollen arms, fever, body aches, headaches and tiredness. Some people could also have chills, and swollen lymph nodes. However, these are not signs indicating you are sick, but that the immune system is developing and responding to the vaccine.
So far, about 96 per cent of all population above 15 years of age in the country have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, while about 83 per cent have received both doses.