Comorbidity Jumper May Be Lifted For Callbacks Over 60: Officials | Latest India News

The government is likely to officially remove “co-morbid conditions” as a prerequisite for people over 60 to be eligible for their third dose of a coronavirus vaccine, officials familiar with the discussions said, while adding that the rider has been put on to ensure that the most vulnerable receive the doses first without triggering an increase in demand.

Currently, people over 60 with certain illnesses and those in health and frontline positions who completed their primary immunization more than nine months ago are eligible for what the government calls a ” precautionary dose ”since January 10.

On January 3, the government opened vaccination for children aged 15 to 18.

An official involved in the process said decisions about each age group as part of the drive expansion have been carefully considered. The National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NTAGI) standing group of experts recommended scaling up coverage gradually for both the precautionary dose and for children aged 15 to 18 if the supply in vaccines was a constraint, ”said the person, asking no to be named.

“Even though vaccine supply is no longer a problem for the government, it has been decided to start giving the third dose gradually for those 60 and over. [age group] compared to children, because it is a larger cohort, ”added this person.

True, at present the government does not require verification of health certificates to prevent anyone over the age of 60 from getting vaccinated if they cannot prove the existence of the diseases. The only jump is a 39 week interval since the second dose.

The cohort for the entire age group 60 and over includes more than 137 million people, which is why the government decided to divide it based on the status of comorbidities, the person said. “It’s a big chunk so we were careful even though we didn’t ask for any medical certificates etc and it was kept only based on their doctor’s advice. It started with those who were the more at risk and gradually it will be extended to all in this population group. We expect more supplies in the coming months as more vaccines have received emergency use authorization, “the official added. .

The expert committee has been deliberating on the extension of coverage since November 1, 2021; with members having held several meetings on the issue, also considering at one point to only allow children with co-morbidities to be eligible first.

“[But] since the supply has been sufficient for some time now, we have decided to remove the criteria for co-morbidity for children, ”said the official.

Experts said it was reasonable to protect vulnerable people first. “It makes sense to protect the immunocompromised, the elderly, comorbidities etc. as much as possible and as early as possible,” said Dr Gagandeep Kang, leading vaccine expert and professor at Christian Medical College in Vellore . (Tamil Nadu).


  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Rhythma Kaul works as an associate editor at the Hindustan Times. It covers health and related topics including Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
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Earnest L. Veasey