COVID-19: Mumbai lags behind in vaccinating children

Exams, vacations and parents' complacency have contributed to meek performance in vaccination, said paediatric taskforce members

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Wednesday, June 08, 2022, 10:36 PM IST
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Mumbai: BMC to arrange COVID-19 vaccination camps for children aged 12-14 at tourist spots | PTI Photo

As the Covid cases slumped last month, most of the parents threw caution to wind and didn’t get their kids vaxxed. The preceding state can be statistically verified as Mumbai stands at 36 position in the state, when it comes to inoculating children in the 12 to 14 age group. While, it comes at 31st spot in vaccinating children between 15-17 years of age. According to statistics, just 28.24 per cent of children in the 12 to 14 age group have been administered the first dose, while 57.12 per cent between 15-17 years old have been partially-vaccinated, so far. Corbevax vaccine, manufactured by the Hyderabad-based Biological E Ltd, is being used to inoculate children in the 12-15 age group. The jab is administered in the gap of 28 days between the two doses.

However, the parents have started making enquiries at the vaccination centres, after being alarmed by pandemic surge. Meanwhile, the civic body is conducting 'Har Ghar Dastak' campaign to reach out to the parents and convince them to vaccinate their children.

BMC executive health officer Dr Managala Gomare said there are several factors due to which Mumbai is lagging behind in vaccinating teenagers. To address the problem, the civic body has prepared a list of unvaxxed teenagers and submitted it to all the health officers of each ward.

Terming the vaccination of adolescents as the “biggest challenge”, Gomare said, “We are trying to increase awareness of vaccines through Information, Education and Communication (IEC). Moreover, 'Har Ghar Dastak' will be helpful to find kids or adolescents who have missed vaccines due to hesitancy.”

One of the paediatric taskforce members said that they have spoken to paediatricians and taken workshops with parents and teachers to drive home the importance of vaccination even among young people. “Moreover, another reason behind the low turnout is that parents do not have time to take their children to the vaccination centres. In such circumstances, having a vaccination camp in schools will help. It should be organised class wise. Children will also have the comfort of the school and see their friends getting the vaccine together,” the member said.

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