India starts vaccinating 15 to 18-year-olds amid Omicron fears

(Xinhua) – India on Monday morning started vaccinating children aged 15 to 18 against COVID-19 amid fears of a surge in infections of the Omicron variant.

India’s federal health minister Mansukh Mandaviya shared photographs of children getting vaccinated to mark the beginning of the inoculation campaign, and urged India’s children to get vaccinated at the earliest date.

The Indian health ministry said Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin vaccine, which were recently approved for emergency use in children, will be administered to the targeted children.

Media reports said over 1.2 million children in the eligible age group have registered at the government’s web portal for COVID-19 vaccination registration CoWIN so far.

The vaccination drive is being carried out in consultation with schools at hospitals and health centers. Reports said a large number of schools and other educational institutions are also being used as vaccination centers as well.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in late December announced to start the vaccination for the 15 to 18-year-olds from Jan. 4 : in the South Asian country.

Officials said administering the third or booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to health workers, frontline workers and vulnerable senior citizens will begin from Jan. 10.

The clearance for the third dose administration from the government for the selected groups came amid a threat of increasing cases of the highly transmissible Omicron variant of COVID-19. Enditem

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