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COVID-19 Vaccine: Types of booster shots, How to book booster dose online and more

Highlights

  • Amidst the rise of coronavirus cases across the country, India’s expert panel on immunisation is considering the merits of a second COVID-19 booster dose
  • If you have not have your precautionary or booster dose, then now is the time to get it done
  • iNCOVACC has been developed for primary two-dose schedules and approved by the Government

As the protective effect of the first two shots of Covid vaccine decreases over time, a booster dose of the vaccine is crucial. Booster doses will therefore help the immune system fight severely contagious Coronavirus diseases. The booster shot is highly recommended if you have not yet taken it. This is not only because China but also Japan, Spain, Argentina and many other countries are experiencing a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases. India is likely to be hit by the next wave as well, and the next 40 days are said to be crucial. If you have not had your precautionary or third dose, then now might be a good time to get it. Through this article, we will take you through the process of booking the booster dose, the options available and commonly asked questions. 

How to book a booster dose online?

Vaccinated individuals can make corrections in their vaccine certificate on CoWIN website

Just like Dose 1 and 2, booster dose can also be booked via CoWIN website

  • You can book your booster vaccine appointment online through the CoWIN website or the Aarogya Setu app.
  • The CoWIN official portal can be accessed from any web browser in order to book vaccinations.
  • Log in to the website using the mobile number you registered. It is important that you enter the same mobile number that you used to register for your first two vaccinations.
  • On the CoWIN website, you will find vaccine certifications for all your previous doses. For future reference, you can also download the vaccine certificate.
  • Click on the Schedule option available next to the notification if you are eligible for the booster shot.

Why is a booster dose important?

After the primary administration of the drug, a booster dose is administered (either intravenously or orally). After primary immunization, boosters provide our immune system with additional strength (extra antibodies). The new antibodies replenish the decreasing antibody level back to its protective level.

Who can get the booster dose?

The iNCOVACC booster dose is for people over 18 years of age. Additionally, a press release from the vaccine maker said the jab would be rolled out in the fourth week of January 2023.

Where to get a booster dose?

The Co-Win portal of the Indian government provides information on booster dose centres. Using this search engine, you can search for addresses by district, PIN code, or on the map. The nearest vaccination centres can also be found by logging in with your registered phone number. 

Types of Booster shots and how to administer them

As of now, the Center does not allow the mixing of vaccines for boosters: If someone has received two doses of Covishield, she will receive the same vaccine for the third shot, and vice versa for Covaxin. The Centre said it would use a heterologous approach (using a different vaccine for the third jab) once more data is available.

Covishield

Covishield from Serum Institute is the most commonly used booster shot for COVID-19. To prevent the transmission of Covid-19, the government organized special vaccination camps on the Char Dham Yatra route (Uttarakhand), Amarnath Yatra route (Jammu and Kashmir), Kanwar Yatra route (all states/UTs of North India), as well as major meals and gatherings across the country.

Covaxin

The Covaxin vaccine (codenamed BBV152) was developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research – National Institute of Virology. According to a recent Indian study, a booster shot using the vaccine as a booster dose neutralized the response of T cells and B cells six months after receiving the second Covaxin dose. Bharat Biotech said in a statement that this suggests good immune memory responses and long-term protection from severe disease.

iNCOVACC 

The INCOVACC booster dose is only for those over 18 years of age. It will be rolled out in the fourth week of January 2023, according to a press release from the vaccine maker.

Shot price and availability 

Bharat Biotech received approval from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) earlier this month for using heterologous booster doses of iNCOVACC. On CoWin, INCOVACC is available for private markets at Rs 800 and for supplies to the Government of India and state governments at Rs 325.

Conclusion

Several factors are considered when determining whether a booster dose is required following primary vaccination. You can measure the level of antibodies specific against a disease after a few years of receiving the primary dose. The reason why some vaccines, like hepatitis A and B, last a lifetime while others, like tetanus, require booster shots is not fully understood. However, amidst the rising number of coronavirus cases across the globe every day, citizens must stay protected. 

FAQs

  1. What are the side effects of booster dose?

Many people do not experience side effects after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine or booster — some even find that the side effects of the bivalent boosters are less severe than those of the previous primary series shots and the majority tend to have mild to moderate symptoms that subside in a few days for those who do. Aside from fatigue, lymphadenopathy, nausea, and headaches, other side effects include fatigue.

2. What does the precaution dose indicate? 

According to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, healthcare workers, frontline workers, and people over 60 with comorbidities will be eligible for a ‘precaution dose’ starting on January 21. There was a question as to why the Centre had not used ‘booster doses’ as is the global norm. However, both mean the same thing.

3. Do I need to follow COVID-appropriate behaviour after taking the booster dose?

Coronavirus cannot have a free run if booster doses are administered and the COVID-appropriate behaviour is followed. It is important for everyone to take precautions during the festive season. The importance of taking early safety measures can’t be overstated, and they have the potential to safeguard everyone. Each citizen of the country should also share in the responsibility and practice preventive measures along with the government authorities. The war against the pandemic cannot be fought alone, and all citizens must make collective efforts to protect the nation from the invisible enemy.

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