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60+ to Get 3rd Dose 9 Months After 2nd Shot, Kids to Get Covaxin Only, Centre Says in New Guidelines

A health worker administers the Covishield vaccine to a worker at a face mask factory on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on December 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

A health worker administers the Covishield vaccine to a worker at a face mask factory on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on December 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

The guidelines comes after PM Narendra Modi announced that vaccination for children between 15-18 years will start from January 3, while precaution dose will start from January 10.

The Union Health Ministry on Monday issued guidelines for Covid-19 vaccination of children aged between 15-18 years and precaution dose to healthcare and frontline workers, and those above the age of 60 with comorbidities.

The guidelines comes, two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Saturday that vaccination for children between 15-18 years will start from January 3, while precaution dose for healthcare and frontline workers would be administered from January 10. Over 90% of the adults in the country has been covered with at least one dose while 62% have got their both doses.

The Health Ministry said that the precaution dose would be provided from January 10.

Here are some of the guidelines for the precaution dose.
– The prioritization and sequencing would be based on the completion of 9 months (39 weeks) from the date of administration of second dose.
– Those above 60, who have already received both the doses, will be given the third dose on doctor’s advice.
– All the healthcare workers and those aged 60 years or above with comorbidities will be able to access the vaccination for precaution dose through their existing Co-WIN account.
– Co-WIN system will send SMS to such beneficiaries for availing the precaution dose when the dose becomes due (i.e. 9 months after second dose).
– Registration and appointment services can be accessed through both, the online and the onsite modes.
– The details of administration of the precaution dose will be suitably reflected in the vaccination certificates.

Meanwhile, the health ministry’s guidelines for those aged 15-18 include:
– All those aged 15 years or more will be able to register on Co-WIN or in other words those born in 2007 or before are eligible.
– The beneficiaries can self-register online through an existing account or can also register by creating a new account through a unique mobile number.
– The beneficiaries can also register onsite by the verifier or vaccinator in facilitated registration mode.
– The option for vaccination would only be available for Covaxin as this is the only vaccine with EUL for the age-group 15-17.

CoWIN chief Dr RS Sharma has said that an additional slot had been created on the online platform so students could use their ID cards to register for the shots. This is because some may not have Aadhaar or other required ID cards, he said.

The announcement for children came just hours after the Drug Controller General of India (DGCI) on Saturday gave Bharat Biotech approval for emergency use authorisation of Covaxin Covid-19 vaccine for children in the 12-18 years age group. The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) had recommended DCGI to grant emergency use to Covaxin for children.

India’s has achieved a historical milestone of administering more than 141 crore doses so far, the guideline said. It also said that all citizens irrespective of their income status are entitled to free Covid-19 vaccination at Government vaccination centres. Those who have the ability to pay are encouraged to use Private Hospitals’ Vaccination Centres.

The beginning of a new vaccination phase from January 2022 will complete a year of India’s vaccination journey as the inoculation drive against Covid-19 began on January 16, 2021. Frontline workers and senior citizens with severe illness were the priority groups of the vaccination drive as well.

Announcing the new phase of vaccination, Prime Minister Modi asked people to be alert and take all
preventive measures but added that they should avoid panic as he reassured them about the health measures in place to deal with any exigencies. Administration of nasal vaccine and world’s first DNA vaccine against Covid will soon start in India as well, PM Modi said.

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first published:December 27, 2021, 19:19 IST