Vaccination for 15-18 years to begin today

LG Sinha to launch drive
Vaccination for 15-18 years to begin today
A health worker administers a COVID-19 jab to a man during a vaccination drive in Srinagar. [Representational Image]Mubashir Khan/GK File

Srinagar: J&K, along with other states and UTs will begin the first vaccination drive for under 18 years age group from Monday. For this purpose, 822 vaccination sites have been set up across 20 districts of the UT.

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha is going to launch the UT-level COVID-19 vaccination drive for children in 15-18 year age group on Monday, January 3 from Government Higher Secondary School (Boys), Gandhi Nagar, Jammu.

Similar event shall be held at Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Kothi Bagh Srinagar by Additional Chief Secretary Health & Medical Education Department.

With the cases of Omicron rising in India, the first drive to attempt vaccine benefits in people other than adults is set to begin on Monday. As per an announcement by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare earlier, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin will be the vaccine that will be administered in this age group. “For such beneficiaries, the vaccination option would be Covaxin only, the ministry has said.

Director General Health, Family Welfare, MCH and Immunization, Dr Saleem ur Rehman said 8.33 lakh people are targeted in this fresh drive. He said adequate stock of Covaxin was available and there would be 308 Vaccination sites in Jammu division and 514 in Kashmir division. “We have sites in every district and are expecting to complete vaccination of this age group in about two weeks,” he said. The list of vaccination sites, he said, could be availed from Cowin. Registration for getting the shot could be done at the site. The beneficiaries would be required to take two doses of the vaccine, 28 days apart.

Dr Rehman said that vaccination in age groups less than 15 years was not available yet. He said last month, a vaccine in the age group of 12-18 years was approved but it was not clear yet whether this vaccine would be made available.

The vaccination of teenagers has been started “in view the recent global surge of COVID-19 cases, detection of Omicron variant which has been categorized as a Variant of Concern (VOC),” the MoHFW has said.

The recommendations are based on “scientific evidence, global practices and the inputs/suggestions of ‘COVID-19 Working Group of National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI)’ as well as of ‘Standing Technical Scientific Committee (STSC)’ of NTAGI”.

In November 2021, World Health Organization approved the use of Covaxin, the eighth vaccine to get the green flag by the International regulatory body.

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