Vaccination of children in the 15-18 age group against COVID-19 began on Monday as inoculation centres across the country started administering the shots to the younger population. The process to vaccinate children has commenced amid a scare of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
In Delhi, where daily cases have registered a record surge in the last few days, vaccination centres at Fortis hospital, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, and other facilities began administering the jabs to the younger population, officials said. The vaccine option for this age group would only be Covaxin, according to guidelines issued by the Union health ministry on December 27.
The Drugs Controller General of India granted emergency use authorisation to indigenously-developed Bharat Biotech's Covaxin for children above 12 years with certain conditions on December 24. The CoWIN platform had till Sunday evening recorded over six lakh registrations in the age group of 15-18. Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has advised states and Union Territories to provide separate vaccination centres, session sites, queue and different vaccination teams for this age group to avoid the mixing-up of vaccines.
The registration for this category of beneficiaries had opened on Saturday. According to the guidelines, they can self-register online through an existing account on CoWIN or can also register by creating a new account through a unique mobile number as is the case with all other categories of beneficiaries. According to official documents shared by sources, the cohort size for vaccination in this category in Delhi is 10 lakh, as per the Registrar General of India's figures.
Authorities at various hospitals in Delhi where vaccination centres were established since the start of the exercise on January 16 last year, have said that the infrastructure set up was ready to administer Covid vaccine shots to children after catering to the adult population, including healthcare workers and frontline staff, who were given priority to be the first in line to receive the jabs. Doctors have urged parents to bring their children for vaccination as soon as possible to lend them protection amid a fear of a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
-With PTI Inputs