India has reportedly started vaccinating children aged between 15 to 18, against the coronavirus, from January 3rd as it is trying to expand its efforts for safeguarding the world's largest population of adolescents.
Furthermore, children will be given the dose of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin vaccine. It is the only vaccine listed under emergency use for 15-18 years, said the health ministry last week.
Recently, the authorities reported 33,750 new cases of COVID-19 and 123 deaths. The total number of cases of the new variant Omicron, which is highly transmissible, was 1,700 in India.
The public and private schools would double up as the vaccination centers, while the school authorities have been ordered to provide the data of daily vaccination to the state authorities.
In recent weeks, several countries like Britain, the United States and Korea have reported a spike in infections among children, further prompting the parents for getting their children vaccinated.
Jai Prakash Shivahare, the Health Commissioner of Gujarat, said that children can get vaccinated in the school itself or can opt to go to the vaccination centers to get inoculated.
Gujarat's authorities hope to deliver the first dose to around 3.6 million children this week. The state has the capacity and vaccines to jab most children, said Shivahare. He further appealed to the parents to co-operate and get children vaccinated as soon as possible.
According to Himanta Biswa Sarma, Chief Minister of Assam, the state hopes to vaccinate nearly three lakh children daily. He further said that the world could fight COVID-19 and believes that the country is following the right path.
Thousands of children, along with their parents, were queued up outside medical centers, special health camps, and schools to secure their first dose of vaccine.
The UNICEF U.N. children's agency estimates that India has the largest population of adolescents globally, which accounts for about 253 million of them.