The Covid vaccination for children in the age group of 12 to 14 years will begin from Wednesday, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya announced on Monday. The vaccine to be administered to the 12-14 age group will be Corbevax manufactured by Biological E. Limited, Hyderabad, the Union Health Ministry said. Tweeting the announcement, Mandaviya said, “If children are safe, then the country is safe. I am happy to inform you that the Covid vaccination of children in the age group of 12 to 13 and 13 to 14 is starting from March 16. Also, everyone aged 60 years and above will now be able to get precaution doses.” He urged families of children and people in the age group of 60 years and above to get the vaccination done.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani told The FPJ that in Mumbai, around 3.5 lakh people will be eligible for vaccination in the 12 to 14 years age group, and the BMC will conduct the vaccinations at about 300 centres across the city. The Centre after due deliberations with scientific bodies has decided to start Covid-19 vaccination for 12-13 year and 13-14 year age groups (those born in 2008, 2009 and 2010), the ministry said in a statement. According to official sources, around 7.11 crore children will be vaccinated under this age group.
Biological E Ltd has supplied five crore doses of Corbevax to the Centre and the vaccine has been distributed to the states, sources said. The announcement comes at a time when schools across the country are opening up given the considerable decline in the Covid cases.
The government has also decided that the condition of comorbidity for precautionary dose for population over 60 years of age will be removed forthwith, the ministry said. “From March 16 onwards, the entire population above 60 years of age will be eligible for precautionary doses of Covid vaccine,” the ministry said.
The population above 14 years of age is already being inoculated under the ongoing vaccination programme. The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 last year with healthcare workers (HCWs) getting inoculated in the first phase. The vaccination of frontline workers (FLWs) started on February 2 last year. The next phase of vaccination commenced from March 1 for people over 60 years of age and those aged 45 and above with specified comorbid conditions. The country launched vaccination for all aged more than 45 years from April 1, 2021.