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COVID-19: Vaccination For 15-18 Age Group Starts Today Amid Covid Surge

India began vaccinating 15 to 18 year olds from January 3 using indigenously-developed Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin

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COVID-19: Vaccination For 15-18 Age Group Starts Today Amid Covid Surge
As the country witnesses a sharp surge in COVID-19 cases, fuelled by the new Omicron variant of coronavirus, the government begins vaccinating 15 to 18 year olds from today
Highlights
  • CoWIN app had already recorded over 12.3 lakh registrations of teenagers
  • The second dose of the Covaxin will be given to them after 28 days: MoHFW
  • I urge my young friends to get vaccinated at the earliest: Health Minister

New Delhi: India kickstarted the Covid vaccination drive for children aged between 15 and 18 years from today. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that the authorities have given nod to vaccinate 15 to 18 years children against coronavirus during his address to the nation on December 25, 2021. He had also announced administering the ‘precautionary third dose’ to the healthcare workers, frontline workers, and citizens above 60 years with severe health conditions from January 10, 2022.

Taking to Twitter, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, Union health Minister said,

I urge my young friends to get vaccinated at the earliest and further strengthen the world’s largest vaccination drive.

Also Read: Omicron Threat: AIIMS Chief Randeep Guleria Issues Warning, Says “Be Prepared For Any Eventuality”

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had informed the States, Union Territories that only ‘Covaxin’, indigenously-developed Bharat Biotech, is to be administered in the population in age group 15-18. He added that additional doses of ‘Covaxin’ will be sent to all States and UTs. 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.

Potential beneficiaries began registering themselves on the Co-WIN portal from January 1, 2022, or they can also avail of a walk-in registration when vaccination commences from today. Those with the birth year of 2007 or before will be eligible for vaccination under this category, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) said. Dr R S Sharma, Cowin platform chief, had earlier said that besides Aadhaar and other national identity cards, children can use their class 10 ID card for registration. So far, over 12.3 lakh have registered themselves on the CoWIN portal.

According to MoHFW, all established protocols regarding vaccination are to be followed for the 15-18 years age group like beneficiaries are to wait for half-an-hour when they will be monitored for the adverse event following immunization (AEFI) and will be eligible for the second dose only after 28 days. States were informed that they have the option to designate some COVID Vaccination Centres (CVCs) as dedicated CVC for the 15-18 age group exclusively which can also be reflected on Co-WIN. Dedicated CVCs would ensure that there is no confusion in administering the vaccines. The States were requested to ensure separate queues for the 15-18 age group and separate vaccination teams.

Also Read: Explained: How Quickly Does Omicron Spread & What Is The Severity Of The Disease?

Here’s How The States And Union Territories Are Conducting The Vaccination Drive

Delhi

Delhi has released a list of 159 centers for the vaccination of children of 15-18 years. Vaccination centers have been set up in government hospitals, dispensaries, polyclinics and Delhi government and municipal schools. A maximum of 21 vaccination centers are in South West district, 17 in Central Delhi, 15 in East Delhi, 18 in New Delhi, 11 in North Delhi, 16 in North East, 12 in North West, 10 in Shahdara, South Delhi 11 vaccination centers in South East Delhi and 15 in West Delhi have been identified for children. Special protocols have been prepared for the vaccination centers set up in schools. Every school will have to appoint a nodal in-charge. As per Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, the national capital has the capacity to vaccinate 3 lakh children falling in the age group of 15 to 18 years every day.

West Bengal

The vaccination drive for youngsters in the 15-18 age group began in West Bengal at different government, semi-government and private schools, besides 338 hospitals and medical colleges across the states, and 37 health clinics of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC). The drive commenced in one school each in 479 blocks and civic bodies, the official said, adding that inoculation is underway in 16 educational institutions in the metropolis. A total of 48 lakh teenagers will be getting the vaccine, according to an official.

Puducherry

Puducherry Chief Minister N Rangasamy kickstarted vaccination of children in the age group of 15 to 18 years against coronavirus at a school. The initiative was started at the Thillayadi Valliammai Government High School in Kadirkamam. Vaccination would be done in all primary health centres and government hospitals. According to an official, the drive launched to cover students in the age group of 15 to 18 years aims at covering 83,000 people in the union territory.

Kerala

According to Veena George, State Health Minister, 551 COVID vaccination centres designated for children in Kerala. She added that there are over 15 lakh children, who are eligible for COVID-19 jabs in the State. She further said that the State expects to finish vaccination of children in the next 10 days, adding that the Centre has provided 5 lakh vaccine doses last night and more than 1.40 lakh doses are expected today.

Madhya Pradesh

According to Madhya Pradesh Immunisation Officer Dr Santosh Shukla, there are 36 lakh registered school children in the 15-18 age group in the state. The state government plans to administer doses to 12 lakh children on Monday.

Gujarat

Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel launched the drive at a school in Koba area of the state capital Gandhinagar. The Gujarat state health department has set a target to cover 36 lakh teenagers in the age group 15-18 years in a special week-long statewide drive. A mega drive has been planned for January 7 with a focus on students of Class 10, as per the state health department. The Gujarat health department has prepared around 3,500 centres across the state for the special vaccination campaign, and the daily timings of the drive is 9 am to 6 pm. According to the health department, vaccination will be carried out in schools and Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), and authorities will ensure that out-of-school children are also covered. In addition, the inoculation drive will also cover institutions for the disabled, orphanages and facilities for the care of mentally ill children.

Tamil Nadu

The state of Tamil Nadu aims to fully vaccinate teenagers by January 31. According to state Health Minister Ma Subramanian said that there are 33.45 lakh children in the age group of 15 to 18 in Tamil Nadu.

Uttar Pradesh

In Uttar Pradesh as many as 1.4 crore children are eligible to receive the Covid jab and as many as 12,57,603 children in the 15-18 age group have registered so far on CoWIN platform to get vaccinated. According to CM Yogi Adityanath, vaccination for children has begun on 2,150 booths in the entire state.

Maharashtra

In Maharashtra, the teenagers are being offered flowers, pens and masks after taking the jabs in Pune, while the Mumbai civic body has set up dedicated vaccination centres for the children in nine of its jumbo centres to ensure a speedy pace where a walk-in facility will be available. In Mumbai, a girl student was the first to receive the vaccine dose at a jumbo COVID-19 centre in the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), where the drive was virtually launched by Maharashtra Tourism and Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray.

Also Read: Omicron Variant In India: How Can Airports Be Prevented From Becoming Covid Hotspots?

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity,  that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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