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India Considers COVID-19 Booster Shots For All Above 18: Vaccine Efficacy, Prices, Side Effects and Other Details

India Considers COVID-19 Booster Shots For All Above 18: Vaccine Efficacy, Prices, Side Effects and Other Details
India Considers COVID-19 Booster Shots For All Above 18: Vaccine Efficacy, Prices, Side Effects and Other Details

Here's another ray of hope for India's battle against the deadly pandemic! The government of India has decided to give COVID booster doses to all above 18 years.

Written by Satata Karmakar |Updated : March 22, 2022 10:38 AM IST

The Centre on Monday said that they are considering a Covid vaccine booster shot for all those above 18 years in view of a surge in coronavirus infections in parts of the world and also to ease difficulties faced during international travel.

In 2019, Wuhan city in China reported an unusual outbreak of influenza. The deadly virus belonging from the family of SARS-CoV-2 soon spread to other parts of the country and slowly to almost all the nations. The World Health Organisation (WHO) named the infection COVID-19. Since then the world is fighting this dangerous respiratory disease.

In India, the second wave of the pandemic, which was mainly caused by the delta variant had left lakhs dead. However, now the country is in a good state and the situation is also under control. In the same run, the government is expanding the vaccine coverage - the only tool to fight the COVID virus.

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COVID-19 Booster Doses - What To Know

A booster dose is an extra administration of the same vaccine that you have taken in both the first and the second shot. After initial immunization, a booster provides a re-exposure to the immunizing antigen. It is intended to increase immunity against that antigen back to protective levels after memory against that antigen has declined through time.

COVID booster shots are mainly given at the time when the immunisation against the COVID-19 virus wanes (usually 39 weeks post second vaccine dose). The prioritisation and sequencing of the dose are based on the completion of nine months, or 39 weeks, from the date of administration of the second dose.


Any fully vaccinated person must take their booster dose after 9 months of receiving their second shot. Currently, healthcare and frontline workers and those above 60 years are being administered the precaution doses of the Covid vaccine. However, after the recent announcement, anyone who is above 18 years and has received their second vaccine dose 9 months back is eligible for the booster dose.

Which Vaccine Will Be Given?

The person who will receive the booster dose against COVID-19 will be administered the same vaccine which he/she had taken in the first and the second shot. For example, if you have taken Covishield in the first and the second vaccine dose, then your booster shot will be another dose of Covishield.


Experts have stated that it takes 7 days for a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose to work. After this time, the booster is very effective at preventing serious illness.

Side Effects

There are no serious side effects of COVID booster doses. However, after taking the shot, some may experience these symptoms:

  1. Fever
  2. Headache
  3. Fatigue
  4. Pain and swelling at the injection site

"Generally, the side-effects are mild, and one shouldn't worry. You need to take medication as advised by the doctor. These minimal side effects should not stop you from getting a booster shot. However, serious side-effects rarely occur," says Dr. Jinendra Jain, Consultant Physician, Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road.

Why COVID Booster Shots?

As discussed above, the immunity that one gain from the COVID-19 vaccines wane with time, this is when the booster doses come into the frame. Talking about the importance of booster shots, White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, said that vaccines and booster shots remain the best means to prevent serious illness from the virus.

COVID Booster Doses Phases

India began administering precaution doses of the Covid vaccine to healthcare and frontline workers and those aged 60 and above with co-morbidities from January 10 this year.

Since January 10, more than 2.17 crore precaution doses have been administered to the identified categories of beneficiaries so far. COVID-19 vaccination for children in the age group of 12-14 years began on March 16 this year.

India's Current Vaccination Status

The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16, 2021, with healthcare workers getting inoculated in the first phase. Vaccination of frontline workers started on February 2 last year.

The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced on March 1 last year for people over 60 years of age and those aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions.

India launched vaccination for all people aged more than 45 years from April 1, 2021. The government then decided to expand its vaccination drive by allowing everyone above 18 years of age to be inoculated against the viral disease from May 1, 2021. The next phase of Covid vaccination commenced from January 3 this year for adolescents in the age group of 15-18 years.

Fauci Warns About Omicron BA.2 Variant

Fauci also warned that a highly contagious sub-variant of Omicron variant of COVID-19, known as BA.2, could soon lead to another uptick in coronavirus cases in the US. The US' top infectious disease expert said the sub-variant is estimated to account for around 30 per cent of all new cases in the US and is also the most dominant variant in the country.

Fauci said BA.2 is about 60 per cent more transmissible than Omicron, but it does not appear to be more severe. "It does have an increased transmission capability," Fauci said on Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

"However, when you look at the cases, they do not appear to be any more severe and they do not appear to evade immune responses either from vaccines or prior infections," he explained. The variant has already caused a surge in cases in China and parts of Europe.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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