On Monday, India began its vaccination drive for those aged 15 to 18 years. According to preliminary data, almost 41 lakh youngsters received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose yesterday.
Read further to find out more.
15-18 Years Vaccination Begins
According to preliminary figures, the total vaccination count has reached 146.71 crores in India. Out of these, 41,27,468 doses of Covaxin has been provided to the 15 to 18 year age group. In recent weeks, the number of COVID-19 cases has increased sharply in the country, with an active caseload of 1,45,582 cases. The country recorded 33,750 new cases in just the last 24 hours. The daily positive rate is 3.84 percent.
“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,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, urging more young people to get vaccinated in the coming days.
State-Wise Breakdown of Jabs
Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat led the country in vaccines administered to the youth age group on Monday. According to government data, Gujarat reported 5,55,312 doses, while Madhya Pradesh reported 7,71,615 doses. Andhra Pradesh (4,87,269), Karnataka (4,14,723), and Rajasthan (4,14,723) each recorded above 3 lakh doses in this age group. However, five large states administered only slightly over 1 lakh doses to youngsters: Uttar Pradesh (1,66,996), Maharashtra (1,81,561), West Bengal (1,03,564), Bihar (1,70,603), and Tamil Nadu (1,70,603). Odisha (82,756), Himachal Pradesh (72,808), Assam (77,124), Uttarakhand (72,075), and Haryana each administered little over 50,000 doses (66,217).
Omicron and Govt Actions
Prime Minister Narendra Modi recommended immunization for children aged 15 to 18 years on December 25, 2021. This came within a year of India launching one of the world’s largest adult COVID-19 vaccination campaigns. The decision came in the wake of an increase in the highly transmissible Omicron variant cases in various parts of the country. At the same time, the country witnessed a gradual reopening of schools and universities.
On Sunday, a day before the rollout, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya met with state health officials. This was to guarantee the proper training of vaccination team members for the 15-18 years age range. Furthermore, the Minister called for the selection of specific vaccine session sites. The Centre also instructed the states to organize ahead of time for the distribution of Covaxin to the designated places. Covaxin is the only approved vaccine for youngsters as of now.
The following is Minister Mandaviya’s instruction to the states:
“Separate CVCs (Covid Vaccination Centres), session locations, queues (if at same session site where adult vaccination is occurring) and separate vaccination team (if at same session site) need to be aimed for to avoid vaccines being mixed up during administration”.