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Center’s guideline out for covid booster dose, vaccine for children 15-18; all you need to know

On Monday, the Union Health Ministry announced guidelines for COVID-19 immunisation of children aged 15 to 18, as well as a prophylactic dose for healthcare and frontline workers, as well as individuals aged 60 and older with comorbidities.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated on Saturday that vaccination against COVID-19 will begin on January 3 for youngsters aged 15 to 18, with a “precaution dose” for healthcare and frontline workers beginning on January 10.

He also stated that starting January 10 next year, the elderly population aged 60 and up with comorbidities will be given a prophylactic dose on the advise of their doctor.

The priority and sequencing of the cautionary dose would be determined on the completion of nine months (39 weeks) from the date of administration of the second dose, according to the guidelines.

In addition, according to the government’s announcement, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin will be the sole COVID-19 vaccine available for children starting next month.

The rules will take effect on January 3 and will be reviewed on a regular basis.

“In light of the recent global surge of COVID-19 cases, detection of the Omicron variant, which has been classified as a variant of concern, scientific evidence, global practices, and suggestions from the ‘COVID-19 Working Group of National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI)’ as well as the ‘Standing Technical Scientific Committee (STSC)’ of NTAGI, it has now been decided to further refine the scientific prioritization  and coverage of COVID-19 vaccination,” according to the statement.

Features and provisions for healthcare providers, frontline workers, and individuals aged 60 and up with co-morbidities under the Co-WIN programme:

Through their current Co-WIN account, all healthcare and frontline employees, as well as people aged 60 and up with comorbidities, will be able to get the vaccination for a prophylactic dosage. The date of administration of the second dose, as recorded in the Co-WIN system, will determine whether such beneficiaries are eligible for the precaution dose. When the preventive dose is due, the Co-WIN system will send SMS to such recipients to remind them to take it. Registration and appointment services are available in both online and onsite formats. The immunisation certificates will accurately record the details of the prophylactic dose administration.

Features and provisions of the Co-WIN programme for new beneficiaries aged 15 to 18 years: 

Anyone above the age of 15 will be allowed to register for Co-WIN. To put it another way, anyone born in the year 2007 or earlier is eligible. Beneficiaries can self-register online using an existing Co-WIN account or by creating a new account using a unique mobile number; this service is currently available to all eligible residents. In facilitated registration mode, such beneficiaries can also be registered onsite by the verifier/vaccinator. Online or on-site appointments are available (walk-in). Because Covaxin is the only vaccine with an EUL for the age group 15-17, this would be the only option for vaccination for such recipients.

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