How India Is Vaccinating Teenagers Amid Omicron Spread

New Delhi:  Amid rising Omicron cases, the Centre on Monday rolled out Covid vaccination for children aged 15-18. Over 4.5 lakh teenagers have, received their first jab against the infectious disease so far.

Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that Covid-19 vaccination for children between 15-18 years of age will be rolled out from January 3. According to official estimates, there are approximately 10 crore children in this age group.

On January 1, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had requested people to register eligible children in their families.

Taking to Twitter, he said: “On the occasion of New Year, registration is being started on the CoWIN portal for immunisation of children against Covid-19 in the age group of 15 to 18 years from today. I request the family members to register the eligible children for vaccination.”

Over 8,00,000 children have already registered for their dose in the past few days.

According to the guidelines, children can self-register online through an existing account on CoWIN or can also register by creating a new account through a unique mobile number or using their parent’s accounts. Children can also get registered onsite by verifier or vaccinator; and they can walk in to take their shots.

Out of the 10 crore children eligible for the Covid vaccination, over 4.5 lakh teenagers have already received their first shots.

The vaccine used for inoculating children is Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, according to a set of new guidelines issued by the Union health ministry.

On December 24, the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI), granted emergency use authorisation to the indigenously-developed Covaxin for children above 12 years of age.

Most of the schools and other educational institutions are being used as inoculation centres as well.

To avoid mixing-up of Covid vaccines for children and adults during administration, Mandaviya has also advised states and Union territories to make separate Covid vaccination centres (CVCs), separate session sites, separate queue (if adult vaccination is going on at the same centre) and separate immunisation team (if at same session site) for adults and children.