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India to Give Booster to 60+, Healthcare Workers: What Are Other Nations Doing?

Which countries are offering booster jabs? Who all are eligible to get them? Here's all you need to know.

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F.A.Q
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India to Give Booster to 60+, Healthcare Workers: What Are Other Nations Doing?
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(This article was first published on 15 December. It has been republished in light of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement on COVID-19 booster shots.)

Amid fears of Omicron giving rise to yet another wave of COVID-19 in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, 25 December, announced that the country will shortly begin the administration of COVID-19 booster shots for healthcare workers, frontline workers, and older adults.

"Precaution dose of the vaccine will also be started for healthcare and frontline workers. It will be started in 2022, on Monday, 10 January," the PM announced in a late-night address.

"Citizens above 60 years of age with co-morbidities will also have the option of precaution dose of the vaccine on the advice of their doctor. This will also be available from 10 January," Modi further stated.
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Which are the other countries that are offering booster doses? Who all are eligible to get it? Here's all you need to know.

United Kingdom

The UK will be administering COVID-19 booster doses to everyone aged 18 years and above. However, healthcare workers and social care workers in England can avail the booster doses from 16 years of age.

The boosters are of either Pfizer or Moderna, with the former being used for those inoculated with two doses of AstraZeneca.

On 13 December, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had confirmed the first death due to Omicron variant in England. Experts had warned that a rise in the number of cases could result in the onset of a new wave in the country.

Germany

By the end of November, Germany had officially declared a third wave triggered by the new Omicron variant. The ICUs in German hospitals remain “severely strained”, said Gernot Marx, the head of DIVI (Germany’s association for intensive care medicine).

The vaccine advisory committee of Germany, on 9 December, had recommended that booster doses be provided to all people of age 18 or above. It will be administering mRNA vaccines – Pfizer and Moderna – six months after the second dose administration.

France and Greece

France, on the other hand, will soon make booster doses available to all adults.

Greece, meanwhile, has reduced the time gap between the second dose of the vaccine and the booster shot from six months to three months now.

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Rest of Europe

Countries like Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Netherlands (over-60s), Portugal, Slovenia, Switzerland (new recommendation for people under 65 expected in the next few weeks) are offering booster doses for the aged, immunocompromised, and vulnerable, according to a report by the Reuters.

US and Canada

The United States (US), after witnessing a critical rise in COVID-19 cases during the Delta wave, has emphasised that everyone over the age of 18 should get a booster dose to avoid any worsening of the situation.

People who have taken both doses of Pfizer or Moderna can take the booster dose six months after the second dose. However, those who have taken the Johnson & Johnson vaccine – which is a single-dose vaccine – can take the booster dose two months later.

Canada, however, has decided to offer booster doses (mRNA vaccine) only to those who are immunocompromised to a moderate or severe extent.

Morocco

Morocco has, so far, administered the most number of COVID-19 doses in Africa. In October, the country started administering a third dose, which works as a booster.

Nigeria

Nigeria has made booster doses available for all adults (aged 18 years or more), who are fully vaccinated with two doses of Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson. Moderna and Pfizer jabs are given as booster doses to the eligible population.

China

China has offered booster doses to its vulnerable, elderly, and immunocompromised population. Nearly three-fourth of the total population of China has already been vaccinated and more than 38 million have been inoculated with the booster shots till now.

Even though China had, so far, only allowed the usage of the Chinese vaccines (two vaccines from Sinopharm, one from Sinovac, and one from CanSino), it has recently allowed mixing and matching, and has approved mRNA vaccines.

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South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia

Other Asian countries like South Korea, Thailand, and Indonesia, are administering booster doses to adults who are inoculated with both doses of COVID-19, with particular emphasis on those who are vulnerable.

Australia and New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand started inoculating its adults with a third dose from November. However, Australia has now shortened the wait from six months to five months.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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