India is getting ready to start administering Covid-19 vaccines to children aged between 15 and 18 years from January 3, 2022, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement on December 25. The Centre has also set guidelines for this vaccination drive and the SOP outlines types of vaccine that can be administered and the method of reserving slots.
Which vaccine will be given to children
According to the health ministry guidelines, only Covaxin will be administered to children in the age group of 15-18 years. Bharat Biotech submitted data from phase 3 clinical trials in the 2-18 age group to the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation. The Subject Expert Committee then recommended granting approval for emergency use authorisation to Covaxin for 12-18-year-olds with certain conditions.
Children who are eligible for the drive
Children all those who are 15 years or more will be able to register on Co-WIN. So anyone born in 2007 or earlier as on the date of vaccination will be eligible for the Covid vaccine.
Beneficiaries can self-register through the existing Co-WIN platform as was for adults above 18 years of age. Parents of the children can secure a slot for them through their existing Co-WIN accounts from January 1.
The government has not yet clarified the identification document required for eligible children to book slots.
Other options to book jab slot except for Co-WIN
Beneficiaries can be registered on-site by the verifier/vaccinator in facilitated registration mode. Appointment can be booked onsite as children of the specific age group walk to the centre to be jabbed
Is vaccination for children aged 15 to 18 years free?
All beneficiaries are entitled to get jabbed for free at government vaccination centres irrespective of their income status. However, those visit private hospitals need to pay the requisite free.
Meanwhile, in the US, regulators have authorised Pfizer’s vaccine for inoculating younger children.