Everything You Need To Know About The Covid-19 Booster Shot (Third Vaccine)

Everything You Need To Know About The Covid-19 Booster Shot (Third Vaccine)

covid 19 booster shot

What Is a COVID-19 Vaccine Booster?

COVID-19 booster dose is an additional third dose of vaccine provided to prevent coronavirus disease. It is given when the protection offered by the original shot trends to decrease over time. A booster dose helps to maintain strong protection from dangerous coronavirus and its mutants. In India, the COVID-19 booster dose administration started on January 10, 2022. It is given when you have completed the vaccination series, and protection against the virus decreases over time. Therefore, a booster dose helps to provide long-term protection against the virus.

Who is Eligible For & Can Get a COVID-19 Vaccine Booster?

You are eligible for a Covid-19 Booster dose if you are:

  • 60 years of above
  • Should have both 1st and 2nd dose of COVID-19
  • There should be a gap of 9 months between your COVID-19 booster dose and 2nd dose
  • Health care professionals and frontline workers who are at higher risk

The authority approved the booster shots for individuals with lower or moderate immunity, such as:

  • Patients who are on active treatment for malignancies of the blood
  • Is on immunosuppressant medications after organ transplantation
  • Patients who underwent a stem cell transplant in the last two years or taking immunosuppressant medications with Untreated HIV
  • Having HIV or AIDS in the advanced stage
  • Genetic disorders such as Wiskott Aldrich syndrome, Digeorge syndrome (which make the immune system weaker)
  • Patients on a high dose of corticosteroids

How To Book For COVID Booster Dose?

You can get the Covid-19 booster dose through:

  1. Booking an appointment online: You can register online to book for vaccinations appointment at a pharmacy or vaccination center.
  2. Walk-In for vaccination: You can walk into the vaccination site without pre-booking an appointment.
  3. Pre-Existing COWIN accounts: You can also book the appointment for the 3rd Booster dose through your existing COWIN accounts online.

What Is The Required Gap Between The 2nd And COVID-19 Booster Doses?

As per the government instruction, there should be a gap of 9 months or 36 weeks between the 2nd dose and the booster dose. It should be calculated from the date of administration of the 2nd dose.

Can You Mix And Match Booster Shots?

Some countries allow mix and match of the booster shots. However, mixing and matching booster shots are not permitted in India. As per the government guidelines, the third booster dose will be the same as the vaccine people received on 1st and 2nd doses. It means if you have the previous two shots of the Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN, then you are eligible for the COVAXIN booster dose only. Similarly, if you received the last two shots of Serum Institute's COVISHIELD vaccine, you will get a third dose of COVISHIELD Booster dose only.

Side Effects Of a Booster Dose

The side effects are almost similar to that of the previous first doses. Some of the common side effects are:

  • High fever
  • Chills
  • nausea
  • Muscle pain
  • Swelling at the site of dab
  • Pain at the injection site
  • Headache

These side effects are common after vaccination and will not last more than a week. You can take painkillers and antibiotics such as paracetamol if you need them. However, kindly visit a nearby doctor if your symptoms worsen after vaccination.

Why Are Booster Doses Recommended?

The Booster dose is the 3rd dose of the vaccine. The COVID Booster dose is vital as initial first doses may become inefficient with time. The first dose primes the body. The second dose boosts the immune system of the body against the virus. In both doses, memory cells for the specific virus are produced. These memory cells protect the body against the virus. With time, the antibodies level decreases in the blood. It results in the production of more antibodies. It increases the antibody potency and helps produce a strong response to virus re-encounter.

Booster dose provided enhanced protection against the ongoing pandemic COVID-19 virus. In addition, it helps in improving the immune system and keeping severe complications low.


Rohit Jain

Rohit Jain is an IPR Specialist and Medical Content Writing Expert. For over a decade, he has written several articles in the areas of female infertility, Erectile dysfunction, hemangioma, cervical cancer, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, mononucleosis, mitral valve disorder, nerve sheath tumor, shin splints, mild cognitive impairment, cellulitis, brain metastases, atelectasis, MCAD deficiency, lymphoma, sepsis, cardiac rehabilitation and metabolic disorder among others.