Centre likely to inoculate children above 12 years from Feb end

Chairman of National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization Dr NK Arora has said the government is likely to expand the vaccination programme and start inoculating 12-14-year-olds from February-end.

“We aim to cover all the 7.4 crore adolescents in the 15-17 age bracket with the first dose by January-end so that we can start vaccinating them with the second dose from early February and finish the second dose by February-end. We want to start vaccinating children between 12 and 14 years from February-end or early March,” Dr Arora told The Times of India.

So far, a total of 3.31 crore children in the age bracket of 15 to 17 years have already received their first dose. The drive has covered 45% of children in this age group, all within 13 days into the drive, which began on January 3 this year.

Experts said that children aged 12 to 17 are quite like adults, so, the decision was mainly taken to protect the adolescents in the 15-17 group first. “Once their full vaccination is done, the government will take up the policy decision to include the next age group, which is the 12-14 bracket,” Arora added.

Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, which is being given to the country’s adolescents (15-17 group) has the Centre’s Emergency Use Approval for children in the 2-17 group.

Join Our Telegram Channel
Join JK Chrome WhatsApp Group

Reportedly due to the high mobility of adolescents- to schools, colleges, public transport, immunising them becomes a priority to contain further spread of fast-paced variants like Omicron. This is why the government prioritised this group from the under-18 category, experts said.

“The government should also consider prioritising the vaccination of comorbid children in the 5-14 age group as they are also more at risk of developing severe Covid,” Dr Pramod Jog, former national president of the Indian Academy of Paediatrics told TOI.

AC Services in J&K

Download 'JK CHROME' AppDownload 'JK Chrome' App to stay updated with Latest Exclusive Top Stories & Employment Updates from J&K.
CLICK HERE
Downloads: 1 Lakh + | Rating: 4.8
Back to top button