Many avoid third vaccine dose, doctors advise against it

According to the data, only about 31 lakh people out of the over one crore eligible people in the state have taken the booster or third vaccine dose. Health officials and experts said more people should take the precautionary jab.
Precaution dose is administered to people above 18 years of age. (Pic for representation)
Precaution dose is administered to people above 18 years of age. (Pic for representation)
Published on May 25, 2022 09:11 PM IST
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LUCKNOW: Despite being eligible, a large number of beneficiaries have not taken their precaution dose or third dose of Covid vaccine in Uttar Pradesh.

According to the data, only about 31 lakh people out of the over one crore eligible people in the state have taken the booster dose. Health officials and experts said more people should take the precautionary jab.

According to health department data, 1.02 crore over people, all above 18 years of age, had taken their second dose by August 25,which makes them eligible for a precaution dose after nine months’ gap (between second and precaution dose). According to the Cowin portal, till now only 3067618 people have got the precaution dose. Precaution dose is administered to people above 18 years of age. Vaccination for beneficiaries below 18 years started on March 16, 2022.

Experts cited three main reasons behind this disinterest: first, lackadaisical attitude of people keeping in view reduction in new Covid cases, and second, paid doses for people below 60 years of age making them reluctant to spend money. Availability of precaution doses at private centres was third.

“A key reason is that people think they do not need a precaution dose as there is no current wave. This is a misconception,” said a senior official with the state health department.

“The government vaccination centres are providing free Covid vaccine precaution dose to 60-plus population. Third or precaution dose is needed to face possibility of any further wave. With a third dose the body’s resistance against the Covid virus remains strong which is significant among elderly population,” said Dr Abhishek Shukla, secretary general, Association of International Doctors.

“A possible reason is paid precaution dose at private centres for beneficiaries between 18 and 60 years of age. People above 60 years of age get free precaution dose but those between 18 and 60 years might not be keen on spending money, particularly those who got their first two doses free at government vaccination centres,” said Dr PK Gupta, former president, Indian Medical Association, Lucknow.

He said, “But the cost of each Covid vaccine dose has gone down as compared to 2021 and life is important. So money should not be a consideration.” Doctors said that in tier III cities not many centres were conducting vaccination.

“Hundred per cent people got their first Covid vaccine dose and over 92% their second dose, hence all have understood the importance of the vaccine,” said Dr PK Gupta. According to the data, UP has administered 32,49,00,618 doses of Covid vaccine which is highest in the country.

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