Coronavirus: Vaccinations for 12 to 14 year olds may begin in March, says NTAGI chief

There is no requirement for new registration for the beneficiaries of precautionary COVID-19 vaccine dose, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

FP Staff January 17, 2022 18:40:47 IST
Coronavirus: Vaccinations for 12 to 14 year olds may begin in March, says NTAGI chief

Representational image.. AP

India may begin COVID-19 vaccinations for children in the 12-14 age group in March, Dr NK Arora, Chairman of the COVID-19 Working Group of National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) said on Monday.

This will be possible as children in the 15-18 age group are likely to be fully vaccinated by then, Dr Arora added. Once this age bracket is covered, the government is likely to take a policy decision in order to begin the vaccination drive for the 12-14 age group in March, the top scientist added.

Dr Arora said that there population in the 12 to 14 age group is estimated to be around 7.5 crore .

As per the The Quint, since the beginning of the vaccination drive for the 15 to 18 age group on 3 January, over 3.5 crore teens have been vaccinated with the first dose of Covaxin. As per an estimation, there are around 7.4 crore teens in this age bracket in India to whom vaccine shots will be administered.

There is no requirement for new registration for the beneficiaries of precautionary COVID-19 vaccine dose, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

According to a report by ANI, Haryana health minister Anil Vij said on Sunday that seven lakh children aged between 15-18 have been vaccinated against COVID-19, adding that children in this age group will not be allowed to attend physical classes without getting vaccination once the schools open.

According to a report by PTI, a plea on Monday urged the Delhi High Court to direct the Central government to give a road map for vaccinating children of the age group of 12 years and below for COVID-19.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh said it would hear the plea on 22 March. The counsel for petitioners, a 12-year-old girl and another, submitted that presently vaccination is being administered to only children of 15-17 years of age.

PTI's report said that the court was informed by senior advocate Kailash Vasudev, appearing for the petitioners, that no road map has been given by the government for vaccinating children of the age of 12 years and below. He urged the court to direct the government to give a road map for vaccinating kids of the age group of 12 years and below.

The issue of vaccinating children below 12 years of age was raised during the hearing of a PIL filed on behalf of a minor and other seeking directions for the immediate vaccination of those in the 12-17 age group on the ground that there were fears that the third wave of COVID-19 could affect them more.

The high court had earlier said it would be a disaster if COVID-19 vaccines are administered, especially to children, without clinical trials and had asked the Centre to quickly vaccinate kids below 18 years of age once the trials are over as the whole nation is waiting for it.

The Centre, in the affidavit filed through standing counsel Anurag Ahluwalia, had said vaccination was the topmost priority of the government and all efforts were being made to achieve an objective of 100 per cent vaccination in the shortest time possible keeping the available resources in mind and availability of vaccine doses into consideration, PTI said.

The precautionary COVID-19 vaccine dose will be given to healthcare and frontline workers, and those over 60 years of age with co-morbidities from 10 January. The eligible population who have taken two doses of COVID-19 vaccine can directly take an appointment or walk-in to any COVID vaccination centre, ANI said in a report

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