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Mumbai

Updated on: Sunday, December 26, 2021, 10:56 PM IST

Mumbai: BMC tells ward officers to make list of eligible beneficiaries in 15-18 age group for COVID-19 vaccination

Health experts have welcomed the timing of PM's announcement, given the spike in the last few days, which does not augur well for the future as well. It is understood that 37,549 children in the 10 to 19 years of age category have contracted Covid since the pandemic started.
Mumbai: BMC tells ward officers to make list of eligible beneficiaries in 15-18 age group for COVID-19 vaccination  | PTI Photo

Mumbai: BMC tells ward officers to make list of eligible beneficiaries in 15-18 age group for COVID-19 vaccination | PTI Photo

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A day after PM Modi announced that children between 15 and 18 years of age can be vaccinated in the New Year (starting January 3), the BMC has directed all ward officers to make a list of eligible beneficiaries in each ward. Currently, there are nine lakh children in this category in Mumbai alone. Officials said they will get cracking once the Centre's guidelines are out and and the vaccine stock, which is to be administered, is released.

Health experts have welcomed the timing of PM's announcement, given the spike in the last few days, which does not augur well for the future as well. It is understood that 37,549 children in the 10 to 19 years of age category have contracted Covid since the pandemic started.

Suresh Kakani, Additional Municipal Commissioner, said the focus will be on children once the ICMR guidelines are in place and the Centre is ready with a blueprint to vaccinate children between 15 and 18 years of age.

"We are waiting for the fresh guidelines from the Centre and the ICMR before going ahead with our plans. Meanwhile, the data of children in each ward is being collected and we are also ascertaining how many of them have comorbidity,” he said.

Recently, the state pediatric task force and the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) had also urged the Centre to roll out vaccination for kids. “By vaccinating them, we will stop the spread of infection, as they tend to transmit the virus to other family members. Why not vaccinate them in the larger public interest," said Dr Bakul Parekh, a member of the ACVIP and national president of IAP.Dr Parekh further said that children with comorbidities like asthma should be vaccinated on priority.

"Such children are more prone to severe infection. They should be vaccinated first, if there are constraints related to the supply of vaccines. But, if we have enough vaccine supply for children, the entire population should be vaccinated," said Dr Parekh.

According to Dr Rahul Pandit, Director, Critical Care, Fortis Hospitals, Mumbai, and Member of the national and State COVID-19 task force, vaccination is an important defense strategy to fight the mutating COVID19 virus. It is an excellent strategic move to reinforce our defence before a potential third wave hits us. People must understand that authorities are doing their best to steml the spread, reduce its impact and safeguard the citizens.

“To stay safe, get yourself vaccinated with both doses, if you haven't done so yet. Moreover, it is critical to maintain caution and follow all COVID19 appropriate behaviour, especially during festivities; double-masking and good air ventilation in indoor spaces remain the key until we triumph over COVID-19,” he said.

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Published on: Sunday, December 26, 2021, 10:56 PM IST
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