Covid-19: India announces booster doses, vaccines for ages 15 and up from January

Narendra Modi says vaccination will start from January 3 while booster doses for healthcare and frontline workers will begin on January 10



A volunteer near New Delhi pastes a poster informing that all adult members of this house are fully vaccinated for Covid-19. — AP
A volunteer near New Delhi pastes a poster informing that all adult members of this house are fully vaccinated for Covid-19. — AP

By Agencies

Published: Sat 25 Dec 2021, 8:57 PM

Last updated: Sun 26 Dec 2021, 9:05 AM

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced that the Covid-19 vaccination for children aged 15-18 years will start from January 3.

In an address to the nation, he also announced booster doses of Covid vaccine for healthcare workers, frontline staff and those above 60 years of age with illnesses from January 10.

This comes after Bharat Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin has received approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for emergency use for kids aged between 12-18 years, said official sources.

In his address to the nation, PM Modi said: “Vaccination for children aged 15-18 years will begin from January 3, 2022.”

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Earlier, Bharat Biotech had submitted data from clinical trials in the 2-18 years age group for Covaxin (BBV152) to Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).

The data has been thoroughly reviewed by the CDSCO and Subject Experts Committee (SEC) and has provided their positive recommendations, the vaccine maker had said.

Amid concerns over rising Omicron cases of Covid-19 variant, PM Modi on Saturday urged people not to panic and be alert.

“In India, many people have been found to be infected with Omicron. I would urge all of you not to panic, be careful and alert. Remember to wash hands and mask,” he said in an address to the nation.

As per the Union Health Ministry, India has reported 7,189 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours. Meanwhile, the nationwide case tally of the Omicron variant of coronavirus has reached 415.

Amid the Omicron scare and surge in cases in various parts of the country, the Union Health Ministry on Saturday said that multi-disciplinary Central teams would be deployed in 10 identified states.

“A decision has been taken to deploy multi-disciplinary Central teams to 10 identified States some of which are either reporting an increasing number of Omicron and Covid-19 cases or slow vaccination pace,” says Union Health Ministry in an official statement

Multi-disciplinary Central teams are to be deployed in Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Mizoram, Karnataka, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Punjab.

These teams will be stationed in the states for three to five days and will work along with the state health authorities.

As per the ministry, these teams will specifically look at areas of contact tracing, including surveillance, containment operations, and Covid-19 testing including sending of adequate samples from clusters to the INSACOG network for genome sequencing.


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