Vaccination Drive for Teenagers Kicks Off, Just As India Enters Third Wave of COVID

The long-awaited vaccination drive for teenagers aged between 15 to 18 years kicked off on the very first Monday of the new year 2022. According to the CoWIN portal, nearly 40 lakh teenagers in the 15-18 age range received their first COVID-19 vaccine dosage as of 8 p.m. on Monday, 3 January, amid growing concerns about a rapidly expanding third wave.

By Amit Pandey, 5 Jan 2022

In a tweet, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandavaiya congratulated the group on their achievement, saying, “Congratulations, Young India! On the first day of the children’s vaccination programme, almost 40 lakhs in the 15-18 age group received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine until 8 p.m. This is yet another achievement for India’s vaccination campaign.”

In response to growing worries about the Omicron form, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared on December 25 that students aged 15 to 18 will be eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine. After 28 days, they will receive the second dosage of Covaxin. Mansukh Mandaviya, the Union Health Minister, has urged states and union territories to take the appropriate steps, including establishing separate vaccination centres, to prevent the mixing of Covid vaccines during the delivery of shots to people aged 15 to 18.

According to state-by-state data released by the health ministry on December 28, there are 7,40,57,000 children aged 15 to 18 who are eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine.

As of 9:20 p.m. on January 2, 7,21,521 beneficiaries in the 15-18 age range had registered for Covid immunisation on the Cowin portal. According to Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, Bharat BioTech’s Covaxin will only be provided to those in this age group. “From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., children must present an ID proof and a school ID card to receive Covaxin, the only vaccine offered for this age group, at centres set up at schools and health facilities.”

On Tuesday, India’s vaccination statistic for teenagers aged 15-17 years surpassed the 42-lakh mark, which had been reached on Day One, with Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh both surpassing a total of one million doses across the two days.

Gujarat led the way with over 11 lakh vaccinations in the first two days, followed by Madhya Pradesh with nearly 10 lakh immunizations. Gujarat has approximately 36 lakh, eligible teenagers, in this age category, while MP has approximately 48 lakhs.

Vaccinations were administered to 20,998 children aged 15 to 18 years in Delhi until 6 p.m. North East Delhi had the highest number of vaccines (3,687), while Central Delhi had the lowest number (739).

16-year-old Partho, inoculated with COVAXIN at Moolchand Hospital’s Drive-thru talked to The Mojo Story and said, “It was a nice experience, earlier I thought that it was painful but It wasn’t. It was a nice experience for me.”

Vibhu Talwar, Managing Director, Moolchand Hospital cited, “The most important aspect of Drive-Thru is that it is away from the Main Hospital. In terms of feedback from Parents, they are encouraged to come to a Drive-thru centre because they are not exposed to Covid in such centres and response is overwhelming.”

Following immunisation, it’s critical to follow all health recommendations, such as drinking enough water and eating a well-balanced diet rich in green vegetables, turmeric, garlic, and vitamin C-rich seasonal fruits. It is recommended that you get enough rest and sleep for at least 7-8 hours. After the immunisation, apply a clean, cool, moist cloth or ice to the arm to relieve pain. You can also do some light exercises to relieve pain and discomfort.

Covid-appropriate behaviour, such as wearing masks while going outside, maintaining physical social distance, and washing hands routinely, should be continued.