Kids can register for jabs using student ID card
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Kids can register for jabs using student ID card

December 28, 2021

Covaxin has shown good immune response in children in clinical trials

New Delhi: Children in the age group of 15-18 years will be able to register on the CoWIN app from Jan. 1, 2022, two days before the vaccination programme is expanded across the country to include them.

“We have added an additional (10th) ID card for registration, the student ID card, because some might not have Aadhaar or other identity cards,” R.S. Sharma, Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Authority, which also operates the Government’s CoWIN platform, was quoted as saying by news agencies.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced last Saturday children aged 15-18 would start receiving vaccinations from Jan. 3 and healthcare and frontline workers will start getting the shots as a precautionary measure from Jan. 10 as cases of the Omicron Coronavirus variant rose across the country.

According to the Health Ministry, those born in 2007 or earlier will be able to register on CoWIN from Jan. 3. They can do it online through an existing account or create a new account through a unique mobile number.

They can also be registered on-site by the verifier and vaccinator in facilitated registration mode. Appointments can be booked online or onsite.

Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, which has been granted approval for restricted use in an emergency situation in the age group between 12 and 18 years, is likely to be the only vaccine available for children. Covaxin is the second vaccine after Zydus Healthcare’s ZyCoV-D that was approved for use in children aged 12 years and above.

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Dr. N.K. Arora, Chairperson of COVID-19 working group of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation in India (NTAGI), said Covaxin has shown that it has a good immune response in children in trials.

“In fact, it is slightly better than adults. Secondly, this vaccine is a safe vaccine, and even local effects like pain, swelling in the arms are much less as compared to adults. We would like to offer this protection to our adolescents,” Arora said.

“Our research within the country also says that almost two-thirds of the deaths below 18 years which occurred due to COVID in India are within this age group. So, this decision was mainly taken to protect the adolescents,” he said.

Precaution dose

Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry yesterday issued guidelines for precaution dose to healthcare and frontline workers, and 60-plus population with comorbidities. For those healthcare workers and frontline workers who have received two doses, another dose of vaccine would be provided from Jan. 10.

All persons aged 60 years and above with comorbidities who have received two doses of vaccine, will on doctor’s advice be provided with a precaution dose from Jan. 10. The prioritisation and sequencing of this precaution dose would be based on the completion of 9 months, that is, 39 weeks from the date of administration of second dose.

All frontline workers and citizens aged 60 or above with comorbidities will be able to access vaccination for precaution dose through their existing CoWin account. Eligibility of such beneficiaries will be based on the date of administration of second dose as recorded in Co-Win.

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