(As of 6th January 2022)
2020 has turned into 2022, but not much has changed in terms of the pandemic. News of the Omicron variant of the novel Coronavirus, its rapid spread, and usually mild disease-causing nature is everywhere. The efficacy of already existing COVID-19 vaccines against the Omicron variant is also under study.
At such a time, governments across the world are considering providing additional protection for the vaccinated yet vulnerable population and vaccinating the unvaccinated groups at the earliest.
In the same vein, the Indian government recently announced that the vaccination for children (aged 15 to 18 years) and precaution doses for frontline/healthcare workers and citizens above 60 (with comorbidities) will begin in January 2022.
Let’s find out more about it.
When: This vaccination drive starts on 3rd January 2022.
Who: Children in the age group of 15 to 18 years are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.
What: The only COVID-19 vaccine that has been approved for administration in children is Covaxin (manufactured by Bharat Biotech).
How: Those aged 15 to 18 can register for vaccination and get an appointment on Co-WIN through an existing account or by creating a new account through a unique mobile number.
Registration and appointment for vaccination can also be done through walk-in mode.
When: This vaccination drive will start from 10th January 2022.
Who: Health Care Workers (HCWs), Front Line Workers (FLWs), and those aged 60 years and above with comorbidities who have already received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine are eligible for a precaution dose (also called a booster dose).
Senior citizens with co-morbidities need not produce any certificate from the doctor for administration of the precaution dose but should consult a doctor before availing of this option.
The prioritization and order of administration of the precaution dose will be based on the completion of 9 months (39 weeks) from the date of administration of the 2nd dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
What: The same vaccine a person has taken will be administered as the booster or precaution dose and no mix and match of vaccines is allowed as of now.
How: The Co-WIN system will send an SMS to those eligible for the precaution dose when it becomes due. Those eligible for the precaution dose will not have to register themselves again on the Co-WIN app and can schedule the third dose from their existing account.
Appointment for the vaccination can be accessed through online and walk-in modes.
The pandemic is far from over. Help yourself by following COVID-appropriate behaviour, and help senior citizens and children around you avail of vaccination. Stay home and stay safe.
1. Mohfw.gov.in. 2022. [online] Available at: <https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/GuidelinesforCOVID19VaccinationofChildrenbetween15to18yearsandPrecautionDosetoHCWsFLWs&60populationwithcomorbidities.pdf> [Accessed 3 January 2022].
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