26 Dec, 2021 6:36a.m.

Vaccine for children aged 15- 18, booster for elderly & health workers


It has been decided that the children in India aged 15 to 18 will start getting COVID 19 vaccination starting from January 3 2022. This was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a sudden address to the nation yesterday night. 

The Prime Minister also told that the Healthcare and frontline workers will be provided with "precautionary doses" from January 10 next year and the people above 60 years of age who have co-morbidities will also have the option to take the booster dose. For the booster dose, a recommendation from a doctor will be required. 

The sudden announcement by the PM comes amid fears over the spread of the Omicron variant. The country has registered more than 430 Omicron infections, that can spread more rapidly than any other variant of the COVID-19. 

PM Modi urged people not to panic. "In India, many people have been found to be infected with Omicron. I would urge all of you not to panic, be careful and alert. Remember to wash hands and mask," he said.

PM Modi reassured citizens that all necessary preparations are being made to combat rising illness rates. He listed the number of hospital beds available, the number of oxygen beds available, and the vaccination status. "Covid isn't finished with us yet. It is critical to exercise caution "he stated.

"Today, the country has 18 lakh isolation beds, 5 lakh oxygen-supported beds, 1.4 lakh intensive care units (ICUs), and 90,000 children's special beds. Over 3,000 PSA Oxygen facilities are now operational, and 4 lakh oxygen cylinders have been sent to all states "he stated.

The PM also added that the nasal vaccine and the world's first DNA vaccine against the COVID-19 will soon be available for the inoculation drive in India

Meanwhile, the indigenously developed Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin has received approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for emergency use in children aged between 12-18 years. The drug regulator’s nod comes over two months after the Subject Expert Committee (SEC), which advises the DCGI, recommended emergency use approval for vaccinating kids in the 2-18 years age group.

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