Guidelines for COVID-19 ‘precautionary dose’ of healthcare professionals, frontline workers and seniors

The Department of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has issued guidelines for COVID vaccination of children aged 15-18 and for administering precautionary doses to priority groups, including health care workers (HCWs) and frontline workers (FLWs). Seniors (people over the age of 60) with comorbidities are also eligible for precautionary doses.

These guidelines outline who is eligible for the precautionary dose, when it will be rolled out and the methods for booking slots to get the vaccination.

Who is eligible for the precautionary dose vaccine?

According to MoHFW guidelines, not everyone qualifies for a precautionary dose. It will be provided to the healthcare and frontline workers at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19. The precautionary dose will also be provided to seniors over 60 with comorbidities.

When will the vaccine preventative dose be rolled out?

According to the guidelines, the precautionary dose will be made available from January 10, 2022. However, it cannot be taken until 9 months (39 weeks) from the date of administration of the 2nd doses.

Which conditions are considered comorbidities?

While the Department of Health is expected to release specific guidance soon, the following conditions were considered when COVID-19 vaccination was made available to people over age 45 with comorbidities:

  1. After heart transplant or left ventricular assist
  2. Heart failure with hospitalization in the past year
  3. Significant left ventricular systolic dysfunction
  4. Congenital heart disease with severe PAH or idiopathic PAH
  5. Moderate/severe valvular heart disease
  6. Coronary artery disease with past MI/PTCA/CABG and diabetes/hypertension under treatment
  7. Angina and diabetes/hypertension on treatment
  8. Pulmonary arterial hypertension and diabetes/hypertension during treatment
  9. MRI/CT documented stroke and hypertension/diabetes during treatment
  10. Diabetes (older than 10 years or with complications) and hypertension/diabetes during treatment
  11. Liver/Kidney/Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: Waiting List Recipient
  12. End-stage renal disease in CAPD/hemodialysis
  13. Decompensated cirrhosis
  14. Current long-term use of oral corticosteroids/immunosuppressants
  15. Severe respiratory disease with hospitalizations in the past two years/FEV1 less than 50%
  16. Myeloma/lymphoma/leukaemia
  17. Currently on any cancer therapy or solid cancer diagnosis on or after July 1, 2020
  18. Sickle cell anemia/bone marrow failure/aplastic anemia/thalassemia major

Which vaccine will be given as a ‘precautionary dose’?

An extra dose of the same vaccine could be given to those receiving ‘precautionary’ doses.

Where can you sign up for a precautionary dose?

Per MoHFW guidelines, beneficiaries can register for the precautionary dose on the Co-WIN app through their existing account. From January 10, 2022, the Co-WIN platform will automatically show who is eligible for the precautionary dose.

Eligibility is based on the date of administration of the 2nd dose as recorded in the Co-WIN. The guidelines further state that the Co-WIN app will send a text message to beneficiaries to take advantage of the precautionary dose when the dose is due. The registration and appointment services are accessible both online and onsite. After administration of the precautionary dose, the details will be accurately reflected in the vaccination certificates.

What documents are needed to get a precautionary dose?

The following documents may be required to get the preventive shot:

  1. Proof of age (Aadhaar or other national ID card)

This must be scanned and uploaded to the Co-WIN app at the time of registration.

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