The Union health ministry on Wednesday reduced the mandatory gap between the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and the precautionary shot to six months from the earlier interval of nine months, ANI reported.

Since April 10, all adults in India have been allowed to take the precautionary shot – a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

In a letter to all states and Union Territories, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Wednesday wrote that the decision to reduce the gap between the two doses was taken by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation.

According to the guidelines issued in April, citizens in the age group of 18-59 will get the precautionary shots at private vaccination centres by paying for them. Senior citizens, health workers and frontline workers are entitled to receive the dose free of cost at government-run centres.

In May, the government had relaxed the gap between the second and precautionary doses for those travelling abroad. Such citizens have been allowed to take the third shot as per the travel guidelines of the destination country.

On Wednesday, India recorded 16,159 new cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours, according to data from the health ministry. The daily positivity rate was 3.56% while the country’s active caseload stood at 1,15,212.