New Delhi: Vaccination opened for teens in the 15 to 18 age group today amid a surge of Covid cases in multiple cities. Over 8 lakh teens have registered on the government’s CoWin portal and all will get a dose of Covaxin.Over 4.5 lakh teenagers between 15 and 18 have received their first Covid shots as immunisation for the age group started today. The vaccination drive is being carried out in consultation with schools at hospitals and health centres.
The Union Health Ministry has said only Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin will be administered to teens and additional doses of the vaccine will be sent to all states and Union Territories.
Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel launched the state’s vaccination for the age group from a school at Koba near Gandhinagar on Monday morning.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath said that nearly 1.4 crore children in the state belonging to this category will be inoculated within a set time limit beginning today.
Tamil Nadu health minister Ma Subramanian said that there are 33.45 lakh children in the age group of 15 to 18 in the state and 100 per cent vaccination in this age group will be achieved by January end.
PM Modi had announced in an address to the nation on Christmas that vaccination of 15-18 years will begin from January 3.He had also said that healthcare and frontline workers and those above 60 years already having other ailments will be eligible for a booster shot, 9 months from the date of administering the 2nd shot.
A large number of schools and other educational institutions are being used as vaccination centres as well.Those born in 2007 and before are eligible for the vaccine. Over 12.5 lakh teenagers have registered for their jabs so far, as per data on CoWIN website.
The clearance from the government came amid a threat of growing cases of Omicron, the highly infectious variant that is sweeping Europe and the US, replacing Delta as the dominant strain.
Since schools and colleges have opened earlier this year, a substantial section of children and teens have contracted the virus. Several outbreaks have been reported from residential schools and college hostels.
The government is yet to take a decision on the booster dose for all.Two new vaccines — Corbevax and Covovax – have received clearance and may be used as booster doses. Sources said the new vaccines might be considered for the use of children as well.
Omicron cases continue to rise: The number of Covid patients infected with the Omicron variant has climbed to 1,700, as per health ministry release on January 3. The count was at 1,525 on January 2.Maharashtra with 510 cases tops the list, followed by Delhi with 351. Kerala, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Kerala too have all registered over 100 cases of Omicron infection.The variant has been confirmed in 23 states/UTs so far after being first detected in the country in Karnataka, early in December.