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Covid vaccination begins for 15-18 age group

Covid vaccination begins for 15-18 age group

January 3, 2022

Vaccination of children in the 15-18 age group against Covid-19 began on Monday as inoculation centres across the country started administering the shots to the younger population.

The process to vaccinate children has commenced amid a scare of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

In Delhi, where daily cases have registered a record surge in the last few days, vaccination centres at Fortis hospital, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, and other facilities began administering the jabs to younger population, officials said.

The vaccine option for this age group would only be Covaxin, according to guidelines issued by the Union health ministry on December 27.

Recommended:  Bengaluru schools to turn vaccine sites from January 3, await discreet guidelines

The Drugs Controller General of India granted emergency use authorisation to indigenously-developed Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for children above 12 years with certain conditions on December 24.

The CoWIN platform had till Sunday evening recorded over six lakh registrations in the age group of 15-18.

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has advised states and Union Territories to provide separate vaccination centres, session sites, queue and different vaccination teams for this age group to avoid the mixing-up of vaccines.

The registration for this category of beneficiaries had opened on Saturday.

According to the guidelines, they can self-register online through an existing account on CoWIN or can also register by creating a new account through a unique mobile number as is the case with all other categories of beneficiaries.

According to official documents shared by sources, the cohort size for vaccination in this category in Delhi is 10 lakh, as per the Registrar General of India’s figures.

Authorities at various hospitals in Delhi where vaccination centres were established since the start of the exercise on January 16 last year, have said that the infrastructure set up was ready to administer Covid vaccine shots to children after catering to the adult population, including healthcare workers and frontline staff, who were given priority to be the first in line to receive the jabs.

Doctors have urged parents to bring their children for vaccination as soon as possible to lend them protection amid a fear of a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Maharashtra: Meanwhile, Maharashtra hopes to vaccinate 70,000 children on the first day today across 650 special vaccine centers set up for the purpose. The state has recorded 11,877 new coronavirus cases-the highest in the country since Sunday. It also reported 50 new Omicron cases on Sunday taking the state’s total Omicron tally to 510.

The state has 60.63 lakh adolescents in the age group 15-18 eligible for the vaccine. Setting up a monthly target of covering 20 lakh beneficiaries, the drive is expected to continue for the next three months. In some areas, schools and colleges have also been converted into Covid vaccination centres. The government hopes to complete the vaccination drive before the third wave of the pandemic hits the state.

Mumbai saw a huge spike in infections as the city registered 8,063 fresh cases on Sunday. The city has nine lakh eligible beneficiaries in the age group 15-18 years. Nine jumbo vaccination centers have been set up across the city to dispense free Covaxin jabs to 500 plus children each day. Teachers from civic schools will take students in batches of 25-50 to the vaccination centres. While online vaccine registrations were made available from January 1, all centers will also allow onsite registrations for walk-in beneficiaries. 

School and college students in the state have remained the most at-risk population as the government allowed phase-wise reopening of physical classes since July 2021 in areas that recorded negligible Covid cases. However, many parents were unwilling to send their children to school for fear of infection. Schools in the state were asked to offer online classes options and all students attending physical classes had to produce parental approval letters. 

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