Ten crore people have taken the precaution dose against COVID-19 so far, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Friday.
The government had on July 15 launched a special 75-day special drive to administer precaution doses to all aged 18 years and above at public vaccination centres free of cost.
“10 crore people now have an extra layer of safety. “Under PM @NarendraModi Ji’s leadership, ‘COVID Vaccination #AmritMahotsav’ is going on in full swing to provide free precaution dose for all adults,” Mandaviya said in a tweet.
On July 26, the health ministry said only 7,30,96,284, i.e. 11 per cent of the nearly 69 crore eligible individuals aged 18 years and above had been administered the precaution dose until the previous day.
Officials had attributed the slow uptake to complacency and the waning of fear among people.
The precaution dose coverage among the 64,89,99,721 eligible people was only 8 per cent till July 14.
The special 75-day drive ‘COVID Vaccination Amrit Mahotsav’ was launched as part of the government’s ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ to celebrate the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence.
According to sources, around four crore people are yet to take the first dose while about seven crore people are due for their second dose.
“Complacency has set in among the people. Also, the fear of Covid is no more there as people have become familiar with the disease. These are the main reasons for the slow uptake of precaution dose among the eligible population,” a source in the health ministry said.
Asserting that Covid was not yet over, officials urged the public to get jabbed at the earliest.
Studies at the Indian Council of Medical Research and other international research institutions have suggested that antibody level wanes in about six months and a booster dose increases the immune response.