Comorbidity clause removed for precaution doses: Govt
New Delhi, March 14: The COVID vaccination for children in the age group of 12-14 years will begin from Wednesday, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya announced on Monday.
The COVID-19 vaccine to be administered to the 12-14 years age group would be Corbevax manufactured by Biological E. Limited, Hyderabad, the Union health ministry said.
Tweeting the announcement in Hindi, the minister said,”if the children are safe then the country is safe! I am happy to inform that the COVID vaccination of children in the age group of 12 to 13 and 13 to 14 is starting from March 16. Also, everyone aged 60 years and above will now be able to get precaution doses.”
Mandaviya also urged the families of children and people in the age group of 60 years and above that they must get the vaccination done.
The Union Government after due deliberations with scientific bodies has decided to start COVID-19 vaccination for 12-13 yr and 13-14 yr age groups (those born in 2008, 2009 and 2010 i.e those who are already above 12 years of age) of the population from March 16, 2022, the ministry said in a statement.
According to official sources, around 7.11 crore children will be vaccinated under the new age group.
Biological E Ltd has supplied 5 crore doses of Corbevax to the Centre and the vaccine has been distributed to states, sources said.
The announcement comes at a time when schools across the country are opening up given the considerable decline in the COVID cases.
The Government has also decided that the condition of comorbidity for COVID19 precaution dose for population over 60 years of age will be removed forthwith, the ministry said.
“Hence, from 16th March 2022 onwards, the entire population above 60 years of age will be eligible for precautionary doses of COVID19 vaccine,” the ministry said.
The population above 14 years of age is already being inoculated under the ongoing COVID vaccination program.
The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 last year with healthcare workers (HCWs) getting inoculated in the first phase. The vaccination of frontline workers (FLWs) started on February 2 last year.
The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced from March 1 for people over 60 years of age and those aged 45 and above with specified comorbid conditions.
The country launched vaccination for all aged more than 45 years from April 1, 2021.
The Central government then decided to expand its vaccination drive by allowing everyone above 18 to be vaccinated from May 1 last year.
The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced on January 3 this year for adolescents aged 15-18 years.
India began administering precaution doses of COVID-19 vaccine to healthcare workers, frontline workers and those aged 60 and above with co-morbidities, from January 10 amid a spike in coronavirus infections fuelled by the Omicron variant of the virus in the country. (PTI)