NEW DELHI: Covid vaccination for 12-14 year children will begin from 16 March, health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Monday. The government is also removing the co-morbidity clause for administering booster doses to those above 60 years of age, Mandaviya added.
Those aged 12-14 will be administered Corbevax, manufactured by Hyderabad-based Biological E. Ltd.
The decision comes after the Union government’s due deliberations with scientific committees. Vaccination for children born in 2008, 2009, 2010 and those above 12 years will begin from Wednesday.
The government has so far been vaccinating those above 15 and above. As per official estimates, about 5.58 crore adolescents of 15-18 years have received their first covid shot, while 3.38 crore have got both the doses till date.
As of Monday, at least 12.65 crore senior citizens have received their first dose, 11.38 crore have got the second dose, and 1.3 crore have been administered the third precautionary dose.
“Children and adolescent vaccination for covid is critical in the backdrop of a phenomenal success of Indian covid vaccine campaign, crossing 180 crore. Adolescents and kids carry the same viral load as adults, and are a known source of viral transmission. Paediatrics vaccines reduce risk of infection (vaccine efficacy) above 90 percent and reduce critical cases and death up to 99%,” Dr. Sanjeev Bagai, Chairman Nephron Clinic, said.
“The Indian vaccines have excellent B cell and T cell immune response and no significant side effects of embolism, anaphylaxis, or myocarditis. Every child vaccinated decrease indoor household transmission by 20 percent-40 percent. Paediatric vaccination also prevents the dreaded long Covid syndrome in children which is approximately 15%,” he added.
Under nationwide covid vaccination drive, India has administered more than 180.19 crore doses so far.