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‘In a much better position to fight pandemic,’ PM Modi lauds India’s relentless vaccination efforts as inoculation for 12-14 age group started today

PM Modi lauds India's relentless efforts as Covid-19 vaccination drive for children aged 12-14 age begins today.

With a view to expanding the Covid-19 vaccination drive in the country, the Central Government has begun immunising children aged 12 to 14 against Covid-19 on Wednesday, March 16th. In addition, beginning today, all people over the age of 60 will also receive the booster dose, called the precautionary COVID-19 dose. Only people with illnesses – above 60 years of age – were receiving booster doses earlier.

PM Modi lauds India’s relentless efforts as Covid-19 inoculation drive for children aged 12-14 age begins today

PM Narendra Modi took to Twitter to announce a vaccination drive for children aged 12 to 14 that will begin today. In a long thread of Tweets, the PM urged the people in these age groups to come forward and get inoculated. “Today is an important day in India’s efforts to vaccinate our citizens. Now onwards, youngsters in the 12-14 age group are eligible for vaccines and all those above 60 are eligible for precaution doses. I urge people in these age groups to get vaccinated,” Tweeted the Prime Minister.

PM Modi lauded India’s relentless effort to vaccinate all its citizens against Covid-19. Calling India’s vaccination drive, which is said to be the largest in the world, “science-driven”, the PM added, “India’s vaccination drive, which is the largest in the world, is science-driven. We began work to create vaccines in early 2020, to protect our citizens and strengthen our fight against the pandemic.”

He lauded scientists, innovators and the private sector for their support to make the vaccination drive a huge success. 

“The manner in which our scientists, innovators and the private sector rose to the occasion is commendable. In late 2020, I had visited three of our vaccine manufacturers and got firsthand details of their efforts to protect our citizens.”

The PM also provided a timeline for how the vaccination drive was carried out effectively and methodically across India. “In January 2021, we began our vaccination drive for doctors, healthcare and frontline workers. The aim was to ensure those at the forefront of the fight against COVID get proper protection at the earliest.”

“In March 2021, vaccination was opened to those above 60 and those over 45 with comorbidities. Later, the vaccination opened for all those above 18. It should make every Indian proud that the vaccines are free of cost for those who want it,” Tweeted Modi.

“Today, India has administered over 180 crore doses, which includes over 9 crore doses in age group of 15-17 and over 2 crore precaution doses. This forms an important protective shield for our citizens against COVID-19,” PM Modi added.

In his next Tweet, Modi added that it is encouraging to see that over the last year, India’s vaccination drive has been driven by the people. Unlike in other countries where there is a lot of vaccine hesitancy, people here have not only taken their doses but have also urged others to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Further, lauding the various state authorities for their persistent effort to get the people of their states vaccinated against the pathogen, Modi added, “I would like to appreciate our state governments for their support towards India’s vaccination drive. Several states, especially the hill states and those where tourism is important, have achieved near total vaccination coverage and several big states have also done well.”

The Prime Minister recalled how India not only excelled in its efforts to carry out a timely and effective vaccination drive in the country but also, in keeping with its ethos, assisted many other nations, thereby strengthening the global fight against COVID-19. “In line with India’s ethos of caring for the entire planet, we sent vaccines to several nations under the Vaccine Maitri programme. I am glad that India’s vaccination efforts have made the global fight against COVID-19 stronger,” wrote PM Modi.

In his last Tweet in the thread, PM Modi hailed the ‘Made in India’ vaccines and also urged people to follow all COVID related precautions. “Today, India has many ‘Made in India’ vaccines. We have also granted approval to other vaccines after a due process of evaluation. We are in a much better position to fight this deadly pandemic.”

As the vaccination drive for children aged 12 to 14 kickstarted today in various parts of the country, a 13-year-old Bhavya from Delhi was quoted by ANI as saying, “I had no doubts in my mind. My parents are vaccinated, what is right for them is right for me. I received Corbevax. I felt no difficulty.”

Here is a visual from a vaccination centre in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The state’s Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar and Education Minister BC Nagesh are present there.

Image source: ANI

Visuals from Ahemdabad:

Image source: ANI

Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma launched COVID-19 vaccination drive for children in the age group of 12-14 years at Rukmini Gaon Baalika Vidyalay High School in Guwahati.

Image source: ANI

Similarly, in Uttar Pradesh, CM Yogi Adityanath visited a vaccination booth for inspection as the vaccination drive for children in the age bracket of 12-14 began today.

Image source: ANI

Notably, in the vaccination drive that begins from today, the children in the age bracket of 12 to 14 would be given the Corbevax vaccine, manufactured by Biological E Limited in Hyderabad. Corbevax has been included as the third COVID-19 vaccine and will be available at all locations where free vaccination is available. For the 12-14-year-old cohort, Corbevax will be administered in two doses separated by 28 days.

The vaccination will be open for all children born on or before March 15, 2010, the government said in its guidelines issued on Tuesday. Earlier, children born on or before 2007 were allowed to take the shots under the national immunisation programme.

The registration for children’s vaccinations began at 9 am on March 16. According to the guidelines, it is possible to self-register in an existing account of a family member on the government’s Co-WIN portal or to create a new account using a unique mobile number. Walk-in registration is also available.

Here’s how children aged 12-14 years can register for vaccination and elder citizens for precautionary doses

  1. Open the Co-WIN portal using the link www.cowin.gov.in

2. Click on the “Register/Sign In” tab to register for the Covid-19 vaccination.

3. If you are already a registered member on the portal then use your credentials to log in otherwise register to create a fresh account.

4. Once you feed in a mobile number and the OTP sent to you on the same mobile number that you will be required to verify. The Co-WIN app will allow you to register 6 members with one mobile number. For children, you will be asked to upload certain documents like the Aadhaar card, PAN card, etc. If they don’t have it children can also use their school id cards to register.

For the elderly, eligibility will be determined by the date of administration of the second dose as recorded in the Co-WIN system. The elderly will be verified primarily through the use of the Aadhaar. A passport, driving licence, PAN Card, Smart Card issued by RGI under NPR, or pension documents with photographs are also acceptable.

5. After the verification is done you can book a slot. For that enter your location, Pincode, etc and tap/click on Book appointment.

According to official sources, around 7.11 crore children will be vaccinated under the new age group. Biological E Ltd has supplied 5 crore doses of Corbevax to the Centre and the vaccine has been distributed to states, sources said.

The Health Ministry said in a release that the government has decided to start COVID-19 vaccination for 12-13 year and 13-14 year age groups after due deliberations with scientific bodies.

“The Union government, after due deliberations with scientific bodies, has decided to start the COVID-19 vaccination for 12-13 year and 13-14 year age groups (those born in 2008, 2009 and 2010 i.e. those who are already above 12) on 16th March 2022,” the Union Health Ministry said in a release.

As per the latest Health Ministry release, “States were advised to ensure that only those who have attained the age of 12 years on the date of vaccination are vaccinated against COVID-19; if the beneficiary is registered but not attained the age of 12 years on the date of vaccination, COVID-19 vaccine is not to be given.”

The release further added that vaccinators should be trained to ensure that there is no mixing of vaccines in this age bracket through dedicated vaccination sessions via earmarked COVID-19 vaccination centres for vaccination of 12-14 years age group. 

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