Delhi vaccinates 3,800 kids aged 12-15 years on Day One of drive

Children aged 12-15 years are being administered only the Corbevax vaccine, manufactured by Biological E Limited. The Corbevax is the country’s first indigenously developed receptor binding domain (RBD) protein sub-unit vaccine against Covid-19.
Children aged 12-15 years are being administered only the Corbevax vaccine, manufactured by Biological E Limited. The Corbevax is the country’s first indigenously developed receptor binding domain (RBD) protein sub-unit vaccine against Covid-19. (ANI)
Children aged 12-15 years are being administered only the Corbevax vaccine, manufactured by Biological E Limited. The Corbevax is the country’s first indigenously developed receptor binding domain (RBD) protein sub-unit vaccine against Covid-19. (ANI)
Updated on Mar 17, 2022 05:55 AM IST
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By, New Delhi

Launching the Covid-19 vaccination drive for children in the age group of 12-15 years on Wednesday — also celebrated as National Vaccination Day — Delhi inoculated about 3,800 children, with state health officials saying the drive will be scaled up in the days to come.

“A token launch of Covid-19 vaccination for children in the 12-15 year age group was carried out on the occasion of National Immunisation Day on Wednesday ( March 16). About 3,800 children were vaccinated with the first dose of Corbevax across Delhi and the vaccination of this cohort is expected to pick up over the next few days,” said a senior health official, on condition of anonymity.

At least 615,000 children in the 12-15 years age group are eligible for Covid-19 vaccination in Delhi. Senior citizens (60 years and above), who are yet to get their precautionary dose can also get the jab at any vaccination centre in Delhi from Wednesday.

Children aged 12-15 years are being administered only the Corbevax vaccine, manufactured by Biological E Limited. The Corbevax is the country’s first indigenously developed receptor binding domain (RBD) protein sub-unit vaccine against Covid-19.

Thirteen-year-old Saloni Rathi got her first dose of Corbevax at the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital, which dedicated a separate vaccination site for children in the age group. Covid vaccination centre in-charge at RML Hospital, Dr Neelam Roy, said, “It is necessary for one of the parents to accompany the child during vaccination. An expert team of doctors is supervising the vaccination process.”

After getting her shot, Rathi said, “It feels great that finally our turn has come. Now that schools have opened, this makes me feel more protected from Covid-19. I urge all my friends to come forward and take the vaccine. I feel no side effects.”

Also Read | 367k+ under-15s register on Day 1 as drive expands

A second government official said among the smaller states, Delhi had relatively high coverage on Day One of the drive for adolescents; he, however, did not give details about the number of children vaccinated in other states.

But vaccinators across most centres in Delhi struggled to manage vials and doses optimally as children who turned up for shots were fewer as compared to the vials they opened and dosages per vial. Each vial of Corbevax has 20 doses and to avoid wastage, 20 children must be present at a time so that doses can be administered within hours of opening the vial.

“We need at least 15 children present to open a fresh vial. But on Wednesday, there were very few children. I hope the numbers increase over the weekend and after Holi. They will surely increase with more awareness drives,” said a vaccinator in Shahdara district, asking not to be named.

On Wednesday, Delhi was supposed to have 140 government vaccination centres where Corbevax will be administered. Of these, north-east district was to have 63 centres — the highest number of centres — followed by south district with 15 centres. Shahdara district was to have two centres — the lowest among all districts — on Wednesday.

However, not all centres opened on Day One of the drive. Some could not function for want of space as in-person classes have resumed in schools, while others shut after seeing the poor response to the drive at start of day.

Several centres such as the ones in Greater Kailash and some in north-east district got no children at all on Day One. In a few schools, teachers were seen organising students of the age group and scheduling their vaccination based on their interest.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Sweta Goswami writes on urban development, transport, energy and social welfare in Delhi. She prefers to be called a storyteller and has given voice to several human interest stories. She is currently cutting her teeth on multimedia storytelling.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2022