Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Saturday that Covid vaccination for the 15-18 age group will commence from January 3, 2022, while healthcare/frontline workers, along with the 60+ population with comorbidities, will get a precautionary dose from January 10 onwards next year.
“The decision to vaccinate children will not only strengthen our fight against Covid-19, rather it would also reduce the worries of the parents whose children are going to schools,” the Prime Minister said in his televised address to the nation.
The country is currently staring at a possible third wave of Covid-19 amid growing concerns over the spread of the new strain — Omicron.
As the elderly and people with comorbidities are more vulnerable to catch serious illness from the Omicron strain, Modi also announced a precautionary dose for them.
“Those with comorbidities and above 60 years of age will be eligible for a precautionary dose from January 10, 2022 onwards on the recommendation of their doctors,” Modi said.
In his message to the nation, the Prime Minister also urged people not to panic amid growing concerns over the Omicron variant, and appealed to everyone to stay alert, wash hands and make full use of masks.
Notably, the Hyderabad-based vaccine manufacturer Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin on Saturday got approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for emergency use for the 12-18 age group.
The vaccine manufacturer had submitted data from clinical trials in the 12-18 age group for Covaxin (BBV152) to the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO). Bharat Biotech had said earlier that the data was reviewed by the CDSCO and the Subject Experts Committee (SEC), which provided their positive recommendations.