Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan laid emphasis on conducting vaccination against the viral infection on a war footing as the drive to inoculate children in the 15 to 18 years age group began on Monday.
Chouhan also sought the participation of the elected representatives, volunteers and religious leaders to encourage children to get vaccinated.
The vaccination for this age group is to be held in the premises of schools only, the CM said in a statement.
"We have to hold the vaccination drive on a war footing. Crisis management committees, MPs, MLAs, social workers, volunteers, religious leaders, all are requested to appeal to the children to get vaccinated," he said.
In Bhopal, the administration has planned to provide jabs to over 40,000 students in this age group between January 3 and 6 across 1,086 schools of the district, Collector Avinash Lavania said on Sunday.
Madhya Pradesh Immunisation Officer Dr Santosh Shukla had earlier said there are 36 lakh registered school children in the 15-18 age group in the state.
"We have plans to administer doses to 12 lakh children on Monday. The state had earlier set a record of 30 lakh doses in a single day. But, with children we can't be hasty. After covering school children, we will target school dropouts," he had said.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Sunday advised states and Union Territories to provide separate vaccination centres, session sites, queue and different vaccination teams for the 15-18 year age group to avoid the mixing-up of vaccines.
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 the indigenously-developed Bharat Biotech's Covaxin for children above 12 years with certain conditions on December 24.
On Sunday, Madhya Pradesh reported 151 new COVID-19 cases, taking the infection tally in the state to 7,94,240, while the death toll remained unchanged at 10,533.
The recovery count stood at 7,83,099, leaving the state with 608 active COVID-19 cases, as per official statistics.
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