Covid-19 threat in India: Covaxin only vaccine for children of 15-18 years; booster shots after second jab
The government of India released official guidelines on Monday on Covid-19 vaccination for children of 15 to 18-year-olds. The ministry also announced that the three priority groups of healthcare workers, frontline workers, and people older than 60 can receive the precautionary dose after their second jab.
The ministry said that children born in 2007 and earlier shall be eligible to receive the vaccine. It will start on January 3, 2022, while the booster shot will start from January 10 across the country for frontline workers and those above 60 years old.
Vaccination and booster shots
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the news on Saturday. PM Modi said that healthcare workers and frontline workers can be at a higher risk of getting the Omicron infection if India witnesses a surge of infection. He called the booster dose a ‘precaution dose’. Modi requested people to get vaccinated and take precautions to ensure safety.
However, the booster dose can only be taken nine months after the administration of the second dose. The CoWIN app will alert beneficiaries when they become eligible for the booster shot.
As per the report by India Today, on Saturday, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) granted emergency use authorisation to Covaxin for children above 12 years with certain conditions.
Omicron variant threat in India
The decision to vaccinate 15-18 years old and administer a precautionary dose to the three groups were taken recently because of the Omicron spread in India. The health ministry’s guidelines said children can register online by the verifier/vaccinator in facilitated registration mode.
The omicron variant can navigate the country into the third wave of COVID-19 infections. The country is already experiencing a high rate of Omicron infections. Several states have already imposed new restrictions to fight against the Omicron variant of covid-19.