Vaccination for children to begin today, 15.4 lakh students to receive first dose in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram: The Covid vaccination drive for children in the age group of 15 to 18 years will begin on Monday.

The CoWIN platform has till Sunday evening recorded over six lakh registrations in the age group of 15 to 18 years whose Covid vaccination is set to begin from January 3.

Kerala Education Minister V Sivankutty on Sunday urged school teachers and Parent Teachers Association (PTA) to take initiative to vaccinate children against the coronavirus.

The Minister urged the school authorities and the PTA to also create awareness on the virus among students and the parents.

Around 15.4 lakh students, including 12 lakh studying in government schools and in the age group of 15 to 18 years, would receive the vaccine, the Minister's office said in a press release.

This includes students from CBSE, ICSE, ITI and polytechnic institutions.

"Everyday, the Education Department will collate the details of students who have been administered with the vaccine. The Minister will soon call a meeting of the other streams, including the CBSE and ICSE," the release said.

The vaccination for children is arranged at all General/District/Taluk/Community Health Centres till January 10 except on Wednesdays, the release said.

Spot registration facility has also been arranged at the centres. Each educational institution is required to submit the list of those who have been vaccinated and those who are yet to get the shot to the respective District Education Officer (DEO).

A copy of each list should be sent to the respective Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) officer.

Pink boards at centres

Pink boards will be installed at the vaccination centres that offer doses to the age group. The boards will be displayed at the entrance of the centre, the registration counter and near the vaccination booths.

Vaccines will be administered to the age group of 15-18 years at the district/taluk/community health centres till January 10 on all days except on Wednesdays. The centres will function on Sundays also. Special vaccination centres for children will function at family health centres and primary health centres on four days except on Wednesday, including Sunday.

Meanwhile, State Health Minister Veena George told reporters that an action plan for the vaccination has been formulated.

There would be separate areas in the hospitals for the vaccination of children in the hospitals.

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had advised states and Union Territories to provide separate vaccination centres, session sites, queue and different vaccination teams for the 15-18 year age group to avoid the mixing-up of vaccines.

Only Covaxin to be administered to kids

The vaccine option for this age group would only be Covaxin, according to guidelines issued by the Union Health Ministry on December 27.

The Drugs Controller General of India granted emergency use authorisation to indigenously-developed Bharat Biotech's Covaxin for children above 12 years with certain conditions on December 24.

Mandaviya, who interacted with health ministers and principal secretaries and additional chief secretaries of states and Union Territories on Sunday through a video link, stressed the need to ensure smooth implementation of new vaccination guidelines.

He advised them to ensure the orientation of vaccinators and vaccination team members and the identification of dedicated session sites for this category of beneficiaries.

The registration for this category of beneficiaries opened on Saturday. According to the guidelines, they can self-register online through an existing account on CoWIN or can also register by creating a new account through a unique mobile number as is the case with all other categories of beneficiaries.

Till 7.50 pm on Sunday, over 6.35 lakh children in the age group of 15 to 18 years have registered in the CoWIN platform.

Beneficiaries in this age group can get themselves registered onsite.  

(With PTI inputs.)

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