The drive to administer the
second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to those who have been covered in the first phase began across Gujarat on Monday.
As per medical protocols, beneficiaries are supposed to take the second jab, also known as the booster shot, within four to six weeks of the first dose being administered, officials said.
The vaccination drive began in the state along with the rest of the country on January 16 and, so far, 7.91 lakh persons have been administered the first dose, said MA Pandya, state director, National Health Mission.
"Today, we started giving the second dose to those who were given the first shot 28 days ago," he said.
Dr Mona Desai, national chairperson of Indian Medical Association's women's wing, who was among those who got the booster shot on Monday, said people should not get overconfident and must continue to follow all COVID-19 norms like social distancing and masks.
"I have received a second dose of the vaccine today. Antibodies start developing in the body only after taking this booster shot. Till that happens, each and everyone must wear a mask and maintain social distancing," said Desai.
The vaccine is around "60 to 70 per cent effective" and if a beneficiary contracts coronavirus now, it is possible the may not develop symptoms but he can transmit the virus to others unknowingly, Desai added.
For the first phase of the drive, the state government had identified 4.31 lakh health workers, 6.93 lakh frontline workers, 1.03 crore citizens above the age of 50. and 2.67 lakh citizens below 50 but with severe co-morbidities such as thalassemia (a blood disorder) and heart ailments.
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