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Rajesh Bhushan to chair VC with States, UTs ahead of free precaution dose drive: Sources

New Delhi: The Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan will chair a video conference to review the vaccination status and also guide the States and Union Territories on the next 75 days about the precaution dose mission, said sources on Thursday.

The Government of India on Wednesday announced the launching of a special 75-day campaign to administer the Covid 19 vaccine's precaution dose to above 18 years old free of cost at all government vaccination centres.

Vaccination is an effective tool to fight against COVID-19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on a micro-blogging site. "Vaccination is an effective means to fight Covid-19. Today's Cabinet decision (of free precaution dose for all adults) will further India's vaccination coverage and create a healthier nation."

"The decision will further strengthen India's fight against COVID-19 and add an extra layer of safety! I urge all those eligible to get their precaution dose at the earliest," said Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya in a tweet

"The scheme will be rolled out from July 15 and continue for the next 75 days," Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Singh Thakur said in a briefing that was held after a Cabinet meeting.

To improve the vaccination, the Centre for the second time has launched the "Har Ghar Dastak 2.0" door-to-door campaign that started on June 1.

With an aim to ramp up vaccination in all the states and union territories (UTs) of the country and spread awareness about the beneficiaries, a campaign titled 'Har Ghar Dasak Campaign 2.0' was flagged off on Wednesday, informed the Union Health Ministry officials.

The campaign will continue till July 31, this year.
According to the Union Health Ministry, the Covid-19 vaccination of all those beneficiaries whose second dose is due and who are eligible for a precaution dose would be emphasized through a door-to-door vaccination drive.
Vaccination coverage for children aged between 12 and 18 years will also be covered through school-based campaigns.

Earlier on July 6, the Union Health Ministry had revised the duration between the second COVID vaccine dose and precautionary dose from the existing 9 months to 6 months.

The Standing Technical Sub-Committee (STSC) of the NTAGI in June recommended reducing the gap between the second and precaution doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

In a letter to States and Union Territories, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said, "In view of the evolving scientific evidence and global practices, "Standing Technical Sub Committee" (STSC) of "National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization" (NTAGI) has recommended to revise the duration between 2nd dose and precaution dose from existing 9 months or 39 weeks to 6 months or 26 weeks. This has also been endorsed by NTAGI." (ANI)

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