Children aged between 15 and 18 years would be able to register on the CoWIN portal from January 1 and the vaccine option for them would only be Covaxin, officials said on Monday as preparations are underway to start inoculating children against Covid-19 from January 3.
"Children aged between 15 and 18 years would be able to register on the CoWIN portal from January 1," CoWIN chief Dr RS Sharma said on Monday.
The vaccine option for those in the 15-18 age group would only be Covaxin, according to the "Guidelines for Covid-19 vaccination of children between 15-18 years and precaution dose to HCWs, FLWs and 60+ population with comorbidities" issued by the Union health ministry on Monday.
According to the guidelines, which will come into effect from January 3, those aged 15 and above will be able to register on CoWIN. In other words, "all those whose birth year is 2007" or before, shall be eligible.
An additional provision has been made on CoWIN through which students can register for vaccination on the portal using their student identity cards as some may not have Aadhaar or other ID cards, Sharma said.
The beneficiaries (aged 15-18 years) can register themselves online through an existing account on Co-WIN or by creating a new account through a unique mobile number. This facility is available for all eligible citizens presently.
Such beneficiaries can also be registered at the vaccination sites by the verifier or the vaccinator in the facilitated registration mode and appointments can be booked online or on-site (walk-in), the guidelines stated.
In a televised address to the nation on Saturday night, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that vaccination against Covid-19 for children aged between 15 and 18 years will start from January 3, while a "precaution dose" for the healthcare and frontline workers would be administered from January 10 -- decisions that came amid a rising number of coronavirus cases linked to its Omicron variant.
Modi said the precaution dose will also be available for citizens above 60 years of age and with comorbidities on the advice of their doctors from January 10.
Zydus Cadila's anti-Covid vaccine ZyCoV-D is yet to be introduced in the country's inoculation programme even for adults, though it received the Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) from the drug regulator on August 20, making it the first vaccine to be administered in the age group of 12-18 years in the country.
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) granted the EUA to indigenously-developed Covaxin for children above 12 years with certain conditions on Friday.