Updated: October 18, 2021 7:19:12 pm
Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar on Monday said that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is prepared to launch a Covid-19 vaccination drive for 33 lakh children between 2 and 17 years of age, but it is awaiting guidelines from the central government.
“Vaccination will start after receiving the guidelines from the central government and the required stock of vaccines for this age group,” said Pednekar in a media interaction on Monday.
The decks were cleared for children to be included in India’s Covid vaccination drive with the government’s Subject Expert Committee (SEC) on October 12 recommending the grant of Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for the age group of 2-18 years.
As schools reopened for classes 8 to 12 in the city, BMC earlier indicated that it is ready to vaccinate the city’s adolescents as soon as the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) permits the vaccination programme to roll out for children, and will not require any infrastructure upgrade.
Since the start of the pandemic last year, 49,743 infections were seen among children and adolescents – 13,947 below nine years of age and 35,806 between 10 and 19 years of age. A serosurvey conducted on a paediatric population of 2,176 in Mumbai in June this year had found that 51.18 per cent of children have been exposed to Covid-19, with most remaining asymptomatic.
Maximum seropositivity (53.43 per cent) was found in the 10-14 age group, for which at least 560 samples were collected. This was followed by the 15-18 age group (51.39 per cent). The seropositivity was 51.04 per cent in the 1-4-year age group and 47.33 per cent in the 5-9 age group.
Pednekar hailed the city’s vaccination coverage and asked citizens to continue to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour like wearing masks.
Currently, the city has 325 vaccination centres and 97% of eligible citizens of Mumbai have received a single dose of vaccination and 55% are fully vaccinated. As per the BMC data, 1.34 crore people have been administered at least one dose of the vaccine while 48.33 lakh are fully vaccinated with both doses.
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