New Delhi: More than 41 lakh teenagers were administered their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine as India began vaccinations for 15-18 year olds across the country Monday, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said in a statement.
While vaccinations for adults had started on 16 January last year, children were so far ineligible for the vaccine.
On 25 December 2021, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approved Covaxin for use in children above the age of 12. On the same day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that adolescents above the age of 15 will be able to take their vaccines from 3 January.
In a tweet Monday, the PM congratulated those who got vaccinated.
“Today we have taken an important step forward in protecting our youth against COVID-19. Congrats to all my young friends between the age group of 15-18 who got vaccinated. Congrats to their parents as well. I would urge more youngsters to get vaccinated in the coming days!”
Today we have taken an important step forward in protecting our youth against COVID-19. Congrats to all my young friends between the age group of 15-18 who got vaccinated. Congrats to their parents as well. I would urge more youngsters to get vaccinated in the coming days!
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 3, 2022
With this, India crossed a total of 146 crore doses as of Monday. Over 92 lakh vaccine doses were administered Monday, including 41 lakh doses for 15-18 year olds.
An estimated 7.4 crore individuals across India are eligible for the paediatric Covid vaccine, according to the health ministry’s estimates.
Although Indian regulatory authorities have approved Zydus Cadila’s ZyCoV-D for children over the age of 12, the vaccine is yet to be rolled out in the country.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there are proportionally fewer symptomatic infections and cases with severe disease and deaths from Covid in children and adolescents, compared with older age groups.
WHO data from 30 December 2019 to 25 October 2021 shows that children under five years of age represent 2 per cent of reported global Covid cases and 0.1 per cent of the reported global deaths.
Those between 5 and 14 years of age account for 7 per cent of reported global cases and 0.1 per cent of reported global deaths. Those between the ages of 15 and 24 represent 15 per cent of reported global cases and 0.4 per cent of reported global deaths.
Deaths for all ages less than 25 years represented less than 0.5 per cent of reported global deaths.
(Edited by Amit Upadhyaya)