| 31 May 2024, Friday |

India considers widening COVID-19 booster effort to all eligible adults, sources say

As diseases spread in some places and some Indians find it difficult to travel overseas without a third dosage, India is considering making all people eligible for COVID-19 vaccine booster doses, according to two persons familiar with the situation.

At India, only frontline employees and those over the age of 60 are now permitted to receive booster doses, which are available for free in government clinics or at a cost in private hospitals.

According to one of the sources, the administration is discussing whether to supply free boosters to other groups. Both sources requested anonymity since the government has yet to make a decision.

A request for comment was not immediately returned by a representative for the health ministry.

Boosters for all adults should be legalized soon, according to lawmakers in parliament.

Last week, the Indian health ministry encouraged governments to beef up surveillance for the disease, noting a rise in Asia and Europe. Cases have recently increased in countries such as China and Italy.

Infections in India have dropped to their lowest level in almost a year, with 1,549 new cases and 31 deaths reported in the last 24 hours.

India, which was devastated last year by a wave of Delta infections that caused morgues to run out of space and people to die in parking areas, now has more than 43 million infections and 516,510 deaths during the pandemic.

On Twitter some Indians have said organizers of some events overseas have limited attendance to those who have taken booster doses. Countries such as Israel, for example, do not consider vaccination complete in the absence of booster doses.

  • Reuters