By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, January 10, 2022: Amid surge in COVID-19 cases, Odisha government on Monday rolled out booster doses for its frontline workers and senior citizens with comorbidities.

Speaker S N Patro, who is in his 60s, was among those who took the booster shot of the vaccine during the day.

The state government has set up 2,276 session sites across districts for administering the “precautionary dose”, a senior official said.

This apart, 1,340 session sites in the state are already providing anti-COVID shots to teenagers in the age group of 15-18 years.

Odisha, as of now, has a target of jabbing 17,52,838 booster shot beneficiaries divided into three categories – health care workers, other frontline warriors and senior citizens with comorbidities, said Bijay Panigrahi, director of family welfare and state nodal immunisation officer.

The government has sent out messages to all beneficiaries of booster doses. They would be given the same vaccine that they had taken as the first and the second dose, he said.

The vaccination capacity of each session site has been enhanced by 20 per cent in order to hasten the whole process.

According to guidelines issued by the Union Health Ministry, the gap between the date of administering the second dose of vaccine and the precautionary dose should be nine months or 39 weeks.

All senior citizens with comorbidities will be able to get the “precautionary dose” using their current Co-WIN account, Panigrahi said.

Meanwhile, Director of Health (DHS) Bijay Mohapatra said the third wave of COVID-19 may reach its peak in Odisha around January-end.

Most of the cases in Odisha have been reported from four to five districts, he observed.

As many as 4,829 more people, including 448 children, tested positive for COVID-19 in Odisha on Monday.

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