Prime Minister Narendra Modi today urged teenagers in the 12-14 age group to get vaccinated and others above 60 to take ”precaution” doses, calling it an ”important step” in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Today is an important day in India’s efforts to vaccinate our citizens. Now onwards, youngsters in the 12-14 age group are eligible for vaccines and all those above 60 are eligible for precaution doses. I urge people in these age groups to get vaccinated,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.
Asserting that India’s Covid-19 vaccination drive is science-driven and people-powered, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the country is in a much better position to fight this deadly pandemic but people must keep following all precautions.
The prime minister further said, “Today, India has many ‘Made in India’ vaccines. We have also granted approval to other vaccines after a due process of evaluation. We are in a much better position to fight this deadly pandemic. At the same time, we have to keep following all Covid-19 precautions.’’
Highlighting the journey of India’s vaccination drive, Modi said, “We began work to create vaccines in early 2020, to protect our citizens and strengthen our fight against the pandemic.” “The manner in which our scientists, innovators and the private sector rose to the occasion is commendable. In late 2020, I had visited three of our vaccine manufacturers and got firsthand details of their efforts to protect our citizens,” he said.
In January 2021, India began its vaccination drive for doctors, healthcare and frontline workers, he noted. The aim was to ensure those at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19 get proper protection at the earliest, the prime minister said.
Modi said it should make every Indian proud that the vaccines are free of cost in India for those who want it. The appeal from the prime minister came as Covid-19 vaccination for all beneficiaries in the 12-14 age group began from Wednesday (16 March 2022) at all government Covid-19 vaccination centres.
Corbevax vaccine, manufactured by Biological E. Limited, Hyderabad, will be administered to those aged between 12-14 years. Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary, in a virtual meeting with all states and UTs, had on Tuesday said that the online registration for vaccination will start at 9 AM.
The states and UTs have been advised to ensure that only those who have attained the age of 12 years on the date of vaccination are vaccinated against Covid-19. The union government has clarified that if the beneficiary is registered but has not attained the age of 12 years on the date of vaccination, the vaccine will not be administered.
This follows the decision of the union government to start Covid-19 vaccination for 12-13 years and 13-14 years age groups, those born in 2008, 2009 and 2010. ie those who are already above 12 years of age, from 16 March 2022.
Additionally, all above 60 years of age are now eligible for a Precaution Dose from Wednesday, as the condition of co-morbidity for this age group has been removed. However, the Precaution Dose is to be administered after a nine-month gap from the second dose and will be the same as the previous two doses.
The union government has sent detailed instructions and operational guidelines to the states and UTs in this regard. The union government has said that vaccinators and vaccination teams need to be trained to ensure that for the 12-14 years age group, there is no mixing of vaccines.