Covid Vaccination For 12-14 Age Group Postponed In MP, Delhi Sees Lukewarm Response

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New Delhi: The Covid-19 vaccination drive for kids aged 12-14 began across the country on Wednesday except Madhya Pradesh, where it has been postponed by a week. Over 2.16 Lakh doses of ‘Corbevax’ were administered, the Union health ministry said.

The vaccination for children in this age group will now begin in Madhya Pradesh after March 22 once the frontline staffers get the necessary training, PTI reported.

“There are nearly 30 lakh boys and girls aged 12 to 14 years. Their Covid vaccination will begin after March 22,” National Health Mission’s state director (vaccination) Dr Santosh Shukla told PTI.

Stating the inoculation of children in this age group will be carried out in schools only, Dr Shukla said those born in 2008, 2009 and up to March 15, 2010, will be eligible to receive the jab.

Tamil Nadu health minister interacts with students during the vaccination drive (PTI)

The vaccination drive has begun with Biological E’s Corbevax vaccine, which will be administered 28 days apart. As of March 1, 2021, there are 4.7 crore children aged 12 and 13 years in the country.

The national capital, on the other hand, witnessed a lukewarm response on the first day of the vaccination drive.

Himanshu Kaushal, a vaccination officer, said there is a “lack of awareness”.

“We have asked the schools to inform the parents about it. Moreover, the COWIN system is not updated,” Kaushal said. “Even if a few children arrive, we cannot administer the COVID-19 vaccine because at least 15 children are needed to open a vial,” he added.

A health workers administers a Covid vaccine dose to a student in Gurugram (PTI)

According to officials, about six to seven lakh children in the 12 to 14 years age bracket are eligible for vaccination in Delhi.

In Maharashtra, the government has directed officials to hold 10 dedicated sessions in each district as the state targets to vaccinate 39 lakh children under this inoculation drive.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma appealed to people to get their children inoculated and assured them the vaccine is safe. “But it should not be taken in an empty stomach,” he said.

The drive has begun with Biological E’s Corbevax vaccine to be administered 28 days apart.

All people aged 60 and above have been made eligible for the precaution dose to Covid vaccine. The prioritisation and sequencing of the dose will be based on the completion of nine months to 39 weeks from the date of administration of the second dose.

(With PTI inputs)

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