India has expanded its COVID-19 vaccination drive with the inclusion of children in the age group of 12-14 years starting on Wednesday while those aged above 60 years are also eligible now for the precaution dose. In Jammu and Kashmir, the government plans to vaccinate over 6 lakh children in the age group in the first phase.
The children in the said age group will be administered Corbevax vaccine manufactured by Hyderabad-based Biological E. It is India’s first indigenously developed Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) protein sub-unit vaccine against COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the co-morbidity clause for administering precaution doses to those aged 60 years has been removed and all above 60 years of the age can be administered with precaution dose starting today.
Earlier, the administration of precaution dose was restricted to those above 60 years of age with comorbidities, frontline workers and healthcare workers.
“Taking the COVID-19 vaccination campaign of ‘Sabko Vaccine Muft Vaccine’ forward under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the vaccination of children in the age group of 12-14 has started from today. All people of 60 years of age will also be able to get precaution dose from today. Let’s secure the country together, get the vaccine,” Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted (roughly translated from Hindi).
India commenced its nationwide COVID vaccination drive on January 16, 2021. Starting initially by inoculating vaccines to healthcare workers, it was then expanded to frontline workers, followed by people above 60 years of age and those above 45 years with comorbidities. Later it was also expanded to all above 45 years of age and then those above 18 years of age.
The vaccination drive for those between the age group 15-18 was started on January 3 this year and for administering the precautionary doses to the healthcare workers, frontline workers and sixty plus individuals then commenced on January 10 this year.
India’s cumulative vaccination coverage has crossed 180.58 crore, as per government data available till 7 pm yesterday.