Coronavirus: First day of free boosters sees nearly 95% jump in offtake


Day 1 of the free boosters for all adults saw an almost 95 per cent jump with over 1.49 mn precaution shots administered across all cohorts including healthcare and frontline workers compared to 766,786 precaution doses administered the day before. India had administered 2 million doses of vaccines till 7 pm across all age groups on Friday, and the share of precaution doses were high at 74.5 per cent.

Around 1.16 million doses were administered among the 18-59 years age group on Friday.

According to data shared by the Union Health Ministry, July 15 saw a sharp spike in precaution doses among the 45-59 years cohort – from 113,061 doses on July 14 to 498,618 doses on July 15, indicating an almost 5-fold jump. The 18-44 years cohort also saw a 2.7-times jump to 662,192 precaution doses administered on Friday.

The long queues before the government vaccination centers were an indication earlier in the day that demand for precaution shots were on the rise after the government announced the 75-day free boosters for all campaign.

Maharashtra’s capital city Mumbai saw an enthusiastic response too despite the rains. On a day when the city’s schools were shut on account of heavy rains, there were queues outside vaccination centers in Dadar.

“People would take this opportunity to get their precaution dose ahead of the Ganpati festivities. Since it’s free now, many would not hesitate to come out. We expect a better turnout during the weekend. Around 104 government CVCs were functional today,” an official at the Mumbai civic body told Business Standard on Friday.

The offtake of booster shots has been quite slow so far – data shows that only around 1 per cent of the eligible adults in this age group, excluding healthcare and frontline workers, have taken their third paid shot at private vaccination centres. India’s precaution dose coverage for all, including senior citizens, healthcare and frontline workers, was around 8 per cent of the eligible population of 640 million as of July 13 (estimated considering a six-month gap between the second dose and the precautionary dose).

States have started collecting data on their requirements. State Immunisation officer of Maharashtra, Sachin Desai said that they have asked all districts to compile the demand for additional doses to run these 75-day long free boosters for all adults’ campaign. “We will share this data with the Centre as soon as it is compiled. We will need more vaccines soon,” Desai said.

The Union Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba chaired a meeting on Friday morning with the chief secretaries of all states to discuss the 75-day free precaution dose campaign. As of Friday evening states have 95 mn doses lying with them.

Meanwhile, anticipating rising demand for shots, the Union Health Ministry has asked global vaccine alliance GAVI to supply 50 mn of the allocated 100 mn doses of Covishield to India under the COVAX facility free of cost.

Precaution doses



healthcare workers



frontline workers



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source: MoHFW

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