January 2, 2022 2:16:47 am
The Delhi government will roll out the Covid vaccination drive for children between the ages of 15 and 18 years from 159 sites in government hospitals, primary healthcare centres, and government schools starting Monday. The drive will be expanded Tuesday in a “camp mode” at private schools if more than 500 children are ready to get the shot.
Almost all the sites that will start immunising children on Monday are existing locations where Covaxin is administered. This is in addition to paid centres at private hospitals.
“The existing Covaxin centres will be used for immunisation of children. However, completely separate sessions (separate counters) will be set up for them. All centres will allow vaccination through both online registrations as well as walk-in; of course, those with online appointments will be given preference,” said a senior official from Northwest district.
In addition to the government sites at the district, camps will be set up in at least two private schools from Tuesday to immunise children there.
There are at least 1.01 million children in the 15-18 age group in Delhi who are eligible to get the shot, according to data shared by the Central government.
Currently, Covaxin is the only vaccine approved for children available under the government’s immunisation programme. The DNA vaccine manufactured by Zydus, called ZyCoV-D, also has emergency use authorisation for children over the age of 12 years, but it is yet to become available under the government programme.
In cases where camps are set up in schools, written consent from parents or guardians will be needed to get the shot, said a senior Delhi government official.
“All children can get immunised at any government centre. However, to reach the maximum number of children quickly, we will conduct immunisation drives in a camp mode in schools, including private schools, later in the week. This will happen in schools where there are over 500 children who wish to get vaccinated. The space will be provided by schools and our team will go there and conduct the drive. The deputy director of education had a meeting with the schools,” the official said.
At the government centres, the children have to be accompanied by one of their parents.
The slots for vaccination of children on the government’s CoWIN platform opened up on Saturday noon and at least seven centres were booked out by 2 pm, according to the website.
Precautionary doses for healthcare workers, frontline workers, and those above the age of 60 years with comorbidities will also begin from January 10, according to the Centre’s direction. There are over 3,80,000 such eligible persons in the capital.
Whether a person is eligible for the shot will be shown on CoWIN depending on the nine-month eligibility criteria. “There is already a separate list of healthcare workers and frontline workers on CoWIN which will be followed. For those frontline and healthcare workers who received the shot as part of the general vaccination, they can get a letter from their organisation to be prioritised for the precautionary dose after the nine-month interval,” said the senior government official.
Another district official said the detailed guidelines for precautionary doses are still awaited from the state immunisation department.
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