CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian, on Wednesday, held a discussion with the officials of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), Industries Department and the Health Department on taking steps to administer COVID booster dose for free at private hospitals for people in the age group of 18 to 59.
Paid booster doses are available at private hospitals. Free doses are available at government hospitals only for people above 60 years, health care workers and front-line workers.
The Health Minister said the discussion at the Government Multi Super Specialty Hospital in Omandurar Estate was to increase the booster dose coverage in the State. Currently, the booster dose coverage among people above 60, healthcare workers front-line workers is 37.53% but the 18-59 age group is only at 1.57 per cent.
Employers of MSME and Industries Department officials have been instructed to take steps to arrange booster doses for free for their employees and families to increase the coverage, Subramanian said. The first and second-dose coverage in State stands at 94.62 per cent and 85.41 per cent respectively.
In the 12-14 age group, the government achieved 87.32 per cent coverage in the first dose and 58.93 per cent in the second. Vaccination camps are continuing in schools, the Health Minister said.
In the 15-17 age group, the first dose coverage is 89.89 per cent and 70.90 per cent for the second. Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry reduced the gap between the second dose and booster dose from nine months or 39 weeks to six months or 26 weeks on Wednesday.