Wed. Oct 5th, 2022

Keeping in view the rising cases of Omicron,  the Indian government has allowed vaccination for the children in the age of 15-18 years. Children who want to get jabbed can register on the CoWIN app from January 1, a top official said on Monday.

“We have added an additional (10th) ID card for registration, the student ID card, because some might not have Aadhaar or other identity cards,” RS Sharma, chief executive officer of the National Health Authority, which also runs the government’s CoWIN platform, the news agency ANI quoted as a saying.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi  on last Saturday said that children of the age 15-18 will start getting their jabs from January 3 and healthcare and frontline workers will receive shots as a precautionary measure from January 10  as cases of Omicron cases in the country are shooting up. 

PM Modi also said that people above the age of 60, who have comorbidities would be provided booster shots against Covid-19 after recommendations from doctors.

According to reports, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin received a nod from the authorities for usage in an emergency situation in children aged 12 to 18, and is likely to be the only vaccine accessible for children.

After Zydus Healthcare’s ZyCoV-D, Covaxin is the second vaccine to be authorised for use in children aged 12 and up.

Covaxin trials results revealed a significant immunological response in young children, according to Dr. NK Arora, chairwoman of the Covid-19 working group of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization in India (NTAGI).

“In fact, it is slightly better than adults. Secondly, this vaccine is a safe vaccine, and even local effects like pain, swelling in the arms are much less as compared to adults. We would like to offer this protection to our adolescents,” Arora said in an interview with news agency ANI.

“Our research within the country also says that almost two-thirds of the deaths below 18 years which occurred due to Covid in India are within this age group. So, this decision was mainly taken to protect the adolescents,” he said.

Dr Arora also said adolescents produce better levels of antibodies against adults.

“Here, I would also like to say that the same Covaxin dose is given to children as an adult and the interpretation between the doses is also four weeks. So as far as implementation of the programme is concerned, there is no special effort required. And immunization of these adolescents can be started within a short period without much or a specific preparation.”

The number of jabs for younger children  will be the same as given to the adults, Dr Arora also said.

By Harshita Sharma

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