New Delhi: The inoculation of children in the age group of 12 to 14 years against COVID-19 started on Wednesday with Corbevax vaccine.
Besides, the government has also decided to waive the condition of comorbidity for those above 60 years in order to receive the precaution dose.
“Taking the COVID-19 vaccination campaign forward, under the ‘ #SabkoVaccineMuftVaccine’ campaign led by PM @NarendraModi ji, the COVID vaccination of children in the age group of 12-14 has started from today. All people of 60+ age will also be able to get precaution dose from today. Let’s secure the country together, get the vaccine,” Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted.
Two doses of Biological E’s intramuscular vaccine Corbevax would be administered to the beneficiaries in the 12 to 14 years age group in an interval of 28 days, the guidelines said.
As of March 1, 2021, there were 4.7 crore children aged 12 and 13 years in the country.
Also, the precaution dose can now be administered to all people aged 60 years and above, and the prioritisation and sequencing of this dose would be based on completion of nine months to 39 weeks from the date of administration of the second dose.
As per the guidelines, the precaution dose should be of the same vaccine that was administered to a person during primary vaccination.
“The vaccination slots will be booked for 12-14 years age group for “CorBEvax” only through Co-WIN. Vaccinator has to ensure that the vaccine is administered to only those children who have completed the age of 12 years on the date of vaccination and if a child is registered but has not attained the age of 12 years, the vaccination is not to be given,” the guidelines released by the Health ministry on Monday said.
The children eligible for vaccination can register through through an existing account of a family member on Co-WIN or by creating a new account through a unique mobile number (this facility is available for all eligible citizens presently), it said.
The Centre has asked states to organise dedicated COVID-19 vaccination sessions through earmarked centres and train vaccinators to avoid mixing of vaccines during the inoculation of adolescents.
The states were also advised to ensure judicious utilisation of available COVID-19 vaccines.
Meanwhile, Asserting that India’s Covid vaccination drive is science-driven and people-powered, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the country is in a much better position to fight this deadly pandemic but people must keep following all precautions.
Modi noted that today is an important day in India’s efforts to vaccinate its citizens as now onwards, youngsters in the 12-14 age group were eligible for vaccines and all those above 60 were eligible for precaution doses.
“I urge people in these age groups to get vaccinated,” he said in a series of tweets.
Modi asserted that India’s vaccination drive, which is the largest in the world, is science-driven.
Highlighting the journey of India’s vaccination drive, Modi said, “We began work to create vaccines in early 2020, to protect our citizens and strengthen our fight against the pandemic.”
“The manner in which our scientists, innovators and the private sector rose to the occasion is commendable. In late 2020, I had visited three of our vaccine manufacturers and got firsthand details of their efforts to protect our citizens,” he said.
In January 2021, India began its vaccination drive for doctors, healthcare and frontline workers, he noted.
The aim was to ensure those at the forefront of the fight against Covid get proper protection at the earliest, he said.
In March 2021, vaccination was opened to those above 60 and those over 45 with comorbidities, he pointed out. Later, the vaccination opened for all those above 18, he said.
Modi said it should make every Indian proud that the vaccines are free of cost for those who want it.
“Today, India has administered over 180 crore doses, which includes over 9 crore doses in age group of 15-17 and over 2 crore precaution doses. This forms an important protective shield for our citizens against COVID-19,” he said in another tweet.