Braving the extreme cold and tough terrains, more than 91,000 children between the age group of 15 to 18 years received their Covid-19 vaccination dose in the schools and other vaccination centres set up by the state’s health department to facilitate the launching of the drive.
The snow-covered district of Lahaul-Spiti saw an overwhelming response from the parents who motivated their children to reach the schools to get jabbed. The temperature in Lahaul-Spiti had dipped to minus 8 degrees Celsius after the snowfall last week .
The MeT department has issued a forecast of snow and rain in the next 24 hours but the health department is geared up for the drive to protect the children against the Covid threat, a government official told Outlook,
Though the schools in the state remain closed, students were invited for the vaccination session.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur launched the drive at the government-run Vijay Senior Secondary School (Boys) Mandi. Ravi Kumar, a senior secondary student of the school, became the first student to get the first dose of Covaxin vaccine.
The state has identified an eligible population of 3.57 lakhs in the age group of 15 to 18 years for the teen vaccination drive announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Christman eve. Meanwhile, CM Thakur on Monday appealed to the people to come forward and get vaccinated.
He said the state has already achieved 100 per cent vaccination of two doses but the drive was still continuing to cover all leftover persons, migrants and those returning to the state from elsewhere.
As many as 4,259 educational institutions would be covered under the vaccination campaign for kids which includes 2.801 government schools, 1,402 private and 56 other educational institutions.
“The state government is keeping an eye on the Delta and Omicron variants and taking all preventative measures to check the spread of this virus,” the CM assured during n an interaction with the media.
Meanwhile state's chief secretary Ram Subhag Singh said he has spoken to the union health secretary about proving a sufficient stock of vaccines for children in the next two or three days, promising that the state will complete the coverage within a week's time .
On the threat of fresh cases, Singh said the cabinet was meeting on January 5 and would take a final call on imposing restrictions, if there was such a need, to contain the spread of the virus in the state in view of winters and tourists influx.