More than 40 lakh children in the age group of 15 to 18 years received their first vaccine dose against COVID-19 on January 3 – the first day of the widened immunisation drive, as infections inch up again in the country.
Announcing the same, Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted: “Well done Young India! Over 40 Lakhs between 15-18 age group received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on the 1st day of vaccination drive for children, till 8 PM. This is another feather in the cap of India’s vaccination drive”
Over the last few days, India has seen a surge in cases as states continue to report more infections, which is believed to be driven by the more transmissible Omicron variant.
As per the numbers available on the CO-WIN dashboard, 34,84,212 children had been vaccinated till 7 pm in the day, and as many as 50,28,763 children registered for the vaccine till 7 pm. The drive is being carried out in consultation with schools at hospitals and health centres. Those born in 2007, 2006, and 2005 are now eligible for the vaccine in the children category.
The 15-17 age group will receive India-made Covaxin, the only vaccine to get Emergency Use Listing (EUL) for children. The two-dose jab made by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech is also recommended by the “COVID-19 Working Group” of the National Technical Advisory Group on immunisation.
The registration for the young beneficiaries opened on January 1 and by 1 pm on January 3, more than 18.19 lakh children had registered on the Co-WIN platform.
Children can self-register through an existing account on Co-WIN or by creating a new account through a unique mobile number, as is the case with all other beneficiaries. Children can also walk in for the jab, carrying their school IDs.
In an address to the nation on Christmas Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the expansion of the world’s biggest vaccination drive to include those aged between 15 and 18. He also said health workers and those above 60 with co-morbidities would be eligible for a “precautionary dose” beginning January 10.