Children in the age group of 15 to 18 years who are all set to become eligible for COVID-19 vaccination from January 3, will only get Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin shot.
The Union health ministry, which issued the guidelines for the vaccination of children (age group 15 to 18 years) on Monday (December 27) said that the option for vaccination would only be available for Covaxin, as this is the only vaccine with EUL (emergency use listing) for the age-group 15-17.
Further, the guidelines stated that children who are 15 years or more, or in other words, anyone born in 2007 or earlier can register for the vaccination shot on CoWin.
The health ministry has also detailed how this 15-18 age group can book their vaccination slots. They can either use their parent’s existing CoWin accounts or they can create a new account through a unique account number. They can start booking their slot from January 1.
There are other ways for children to book slots, for example, they can also be registered onsite by the verifier/vaccinator in facilitated registration mode. Or, the appointments can be booked online or onsite (that is children can walk in to get their COVID-19 vaccine shot).
The vaccine shot is free for children irrespective of their income status. They are entitled to get the vaccination doses for free at government vaccination centres. However, those who visit private hospitals or vaccination centres will have to end up pay the requisite fees.
Precaution doses for healthcare and frontline workers and 60+
The health ministry said that as a matter of abundant precaution, for those Health Care Workers (HCW) and Front Line Workers (FLW), who have received two doses, another dose of COVID-19 vaccine would be provided from January 10.
The guidelines stated that people aged 60 years and above with comorbidities, who have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, will on doctor’s advice be provided with the precaution dose from January 10.
Importantly, the beneficiary would have had to complete nine months from the date of their second dose to get this precautionary jab.
“The prioritisation and sequencing of this precaution dose would be based on the completion of nine months, i.e., 39 weeks from the date of administration of second dose,” the guidelines stated. Citizens irrespective of their income status are entitled to free COVID-19 vaccination at government vaccination Centres but those who have the ability to pay are encouraged to use private hospitals vaccination centres, the ministry said.
Due to the recent global surge in COVID-19 cases, detection of the Omicron variant that has been categorised Variant of Concern, scientific evidence, global practices and inputs of the COVID-19 Working Group of National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization and the Standing Technical Scientific Committee of NTAGI, the government has now decided to further refine the scientific prioritisation and coverage of vaccination, the guidelines stated.