Covid vaccines for children in 5-15 age group as soon as experts recommend: Mandaviya

Published on Feb 12, 2022 05:48 PM IST
Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that Covid-19 vaccination for children from 5 to 15 will be rolled out as soon as the Centre receives recommendations from experts. 
“Today, vaccination is not an issue. We have enough vaccines, there is no shortage of doses. We will definitely follow the recommendation of the scientific community,” Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said.(HT File Photo)
“Today, vaccination is not an issue. We have enough vaccines, there is no shortage of doses. We will definitely follow the recommendation of the scientific community,” Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said.(HT File Photo)
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The Centre will begin inoculation of children between five and 15 years of age against Covid-19 as soon as it receives recommendations regarding the same from expert groups, Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Saturday.

Mandaviya said no such recommendation has been made to the government so far. He made the remarks while talking to the press during a programme organised by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) regarding Union Budget 2022.

“When to vaccinate and to which age group – it is decided on the basis of recommendation of a group of scientists. We had implemented its recommendation for the precaution group within one week. We will surely implement its recommendation (for five to 15 age group) as and when we receive it,” news agency PTI quoted Mandaviya as s.

“Today, vaccination is not an issue. We have enough vaccines, there is no shortage of doses. We will definitely follow the recommendation of the scientific community,” he said.

“Ultimately, these are biological things. Therefore, scientists study before making recommendations. Earlier, we used to follow the world (for recommendations regarding vaccination). Today, our scientists conduct their own analysis, they have their own study, and make opinions based on this,” he added.

Under the country’s immunisation drive, 75 per cent children belonging to the 15-18 age group have received Covid vaccine doses and among adults, the first dose coverage was 96 per cent, while 77 per cent adult Indians were fully vaccinated, Mandaviya said. Lauding the nationwide inoculation drive, the Union minister said the country has been able to effectively use vaccination in its fight against the pandemic.

“India offered vaccination to the world and even started manufacturing it at a fast pace. The result was that by the time the third wave (of Covid-19 pandemic) came, we had moved ahead of the world in vaccination. We were saved in the third wave, because India completed 96 per cent of the first dose,” he said.

The Covid-19 vaccination drive was expanded on January 3 this year to include youngsters above 15 years of age. So far, over six crore doses of the vaccine have been administered to beneficiaries between 15 and 17 years of age, according to data from the Co-WIN dashboard.

Also, the inoculation of a precautionary third dose to healthcare workers, front line workers and senior citizens above 60 years of age with comorbid conditions began on January 10, and so far, over 1.6 crore such doses have been administered.

India has administered more than 172 crore doses of the vaccine as of date, the Union health ministry said.

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