Covid vaccine above 45: Which vaccine should you take? What should be the gap between doses?

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As the vaccination drive will be open for all above the age of 45 years from April 1, India is set to cross a major milestone in its fight against Covid-19, which is completing a year in March, 2021.

Here is all you need to know about vaccination above 45.

Who are eligible?

Everyone above the age of 45 years is now eligible for vaccination. This includes those with co-morbidities and those who do not have any health issues.

Is there no need for a medical certificate regarding co-morbidities?

As vaccination is open for all above 45 years, there is no need for medical certificates from April 1. The government earlier published a list of comorbidities which included heart issues, hypertension, diabetes, kidney, liver issues, leukaemia among many other conditions.

Why did the government specify health conditions in the second phase only to do away with it now?

The second phase of vaccination commenced on March 1. Senior citizens and people with comorbidities between the age of 45 and 59 were considered priority groups in this phase. Now as the vaccination has gained pace, based on scientific advice, the government is opening the drive a little more to accommodate more beneficiaries. The government started the vaccination drive with the most vulnerable groups, healthcare workers and frontline workers. Then it moved to senior citizens and people with co-morbidities, as they are at a greater risk of contracting the infection than young people, because of their age and health conditions, respectively.

Covaxin or Covishield: Which vaccine to take

The Centre has emphasised that both the vaccines have proved to be successful and has advised to go for any vaccine.

Four weeks or eight weeks: What should be the gap between the doses?

The two doses of a vaccine were being administered 28 days apart so far. But now the expert group has reviewed recent scientific evidence and has advised widening the gap to six to eight weeks for Covishield, the vaccine developed by Oxford University and pharma company AstraZeneca and manufactured in India by Pune’s Serum Institute of India.

There has been no new instruction for Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.

Doctors in the health centre, hospitals where you will get your first dose will advise you regarding the timing of the second dose.

How much will the vaccine cost?

At government facilities, the vaccination will be free while private facilities can charge a maximum of 250 for a dose.

Will you still have to register on Co-Win now that the vaccination is being made open?

Yes. Without registration on Co-Win, there will be no vaccination as the government is maintaining every vaccination data through this interface.

Will this move help address vaccine wastage? How?

At present, vaccine wastage is a concern for India, as many states are reporting over 10 per cent vaccine wastage. The issue was raised in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent meeting with the heads of the states and Union territories. Vaccines get wasted when the vial is opened but the beneficiary does not turn up. If there are enough beneficiaries, then this problem might be mitigated. Allowing more people for vaccination is one step to ensure that there are more beneficiaries.

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