India may vaccinate 12-14 age group from March
A health worker prepares a jab of coronavirus vaccine before inoculating a girl at a vaccination camp in Chennai in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu on May 20, 2021. (Photo by ARUN SANKAR/AFP via Getty Images)
INDIA has started vaccinating its minor population aged between 15 and 18 years and if sources are to be believed, the inoculation of kids aged between 12 and 14 will begin in March.
India, which started its vaccination programme in January 2021, has administered 1.57 billion jabs so far. The vaccination of those between 15 and 18 years started earlier this month and as per the country’s health ministry, more than 45 per cent of adolescents between 15 and 18 years have received the first dose of the vaccine.
ALSO READ: India starts jabbing minors in age group 15-18 years
The Indo-Asian News Service sites a source as saying that the decision to vaccinate children between 12 and 14 years could be taken in the next National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation in India’s (NTAGI) Covid-19 group meeting scheduled to be held in February.
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The source added that the decision could be taken soon since India has adequate vaccine-making capacity.
The Drugs Controller General of India, the country’s apex drug regulator, has already approved two vaccines – Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Zydus Cadilla’s ZyCovD vaccine for the teens of the said age bracket against Covid pandemic. Zydus Cadilla’s ZyCovD vaccine is the world’s first plasmid-DNA vaccine which has been approved for minors above 12 years.
Dr NK Arora, NTAGI Chairman, had earlier said: “Since it is the first DNA vaccine, the government wants to be doubly sure of its safety before providing it to children. So, its first one crore doses will be given to adults.”
He said that the vaccine was found to be absolutely safe and highly efficacious during the trials and “we are sure that it will soon be available for children as well”.
Meanwhile, India’s health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that over 3.5 crore children of 15 to 18 age bracket have received their first dose of the vaccine.
“Amazing enthusiasm among Young India for #COVID19 vaccination. Over 3.5 crore children between the 15-18 Age group have received 1st dose of COVID-19 vaccine, since 3rd January. Congratulations to all my young friends who have got vaccinated”, he said in a tweet on Monday (17).