Delhi gears up for Covid vaccination of children in 12-14 age group

About 6-7 lakh children in the 12-14 age group in Delhi are eligible for vaccination to begin with, and the number will keep on increasing as days pass, they said.

The Delhi government is all geared up for the Covid vaccination of children in 12-14 years bracket starting Wednesday, with training imparted to staff from all stakeholder departments and vaccine doses received, as authorities have identified 6-7 lakh eligible population for this age group.

The city government has received 6,31,400 doses of Corbevax vaccine till date, official sources said on Tuesday.

About 6-7 lakh children in the 12-14 age group in Delhi are eligible for vaccination to begin with, and the number will keep on increasing as days pass, they said.

“We are all prepared, with training having been imparted to staff from all stakeholder departments, vaccine doses received, and the education department also assisting us in the exercise. The challenge would be to ensure that the beneficiary coming for vaccination is not even a day younger than 12 years on any day of the vaccination,” a senior official told PTI.

“As vaccination for this age group begins Wednesday, on day one, there would be only be a token exercise and not a full-fledged one, with authorities in each district choosing one school for it. Some district may choose more than one school, but largely it will be a token exercise, meaning, only few children will be vaccinated,” he said.

Asked the reason behind the planned token exercise on day one, the official said as there are software integration issues for this age group on CoWIN portal, since it is a new group, so strict scrutiny for the age validity will be needed, and “so, mostly it will be done through walk-in on Wednesday”.

“We will check Aadhaar card or school I-card to ensure the beneficiary is absolutely eligible as per the norm,” he added.
Official sources said there will be dedicated outreach CVCs (Covid vaccination centres) for all private schools which will request the authorities.

For government schools, similar sessions would be held in consultation with director of education and other authorities, they said.

Vaccines will also be made available in some of the main CVCs, along with other Covid vaccines, sources claimed.

According to data shared by the official sources, 140 CVCs across 11 districts in Delhi have been identified for the inoculation exercise.

Meanwhile, the Centre on Tuesday released guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination of children between 12-14 years that will begin from March 16 and said only Corbevax vaccine would be used for the beneficiaries of this age group.

Two doses of Biological E’s intramuscular vaccine Corbevax would be administered to the beneficiaries in the 12-14 years age group at an interval of 28 days, the guidelines said.

Biological E Ltd has supplied 5 crore doses of Corbevax to the Centre and the vaccine has been distributed to states, sources had said on Monday.

District authorities in the national capital have also geared up for the vaccination of children in this age group.

Vaccine doses and logistics material have been distributed to all districts in the city, officials said, adding that token vaccination exercise will be held on Wednesday on the occasion of the National Vaccination Day.

Nearly 25-30 centres across the city will be made where COVID-19 vaccination will be conducted for the group. Most of these sites will be at schools. Along with doctors and nurses, teachers and civil defence volunteers would also be engaged in this “mass exercise,” they said.

A senior official from south east district here said vaccination for children of the age group of 12-14 years will be conducted at four sites.

“Two centres have been made in Kalkaji, while one each in Sarita Vihar and Jangpura. More sites will be opened later in the day. Walk-in facility will also be available at the vaccination centres.

“There are 84,000 children in the district, who fall in the age bracket of 12-14 years. They will be administered Corbevax vaccine. The vaccination will be conducted only at government facilities,” the official told PTI.

The Directorate of Education has also been approached to provide a school-wise list of eligible children so that they can be administered vaccines at their school premises only, officials said.

An official of the south district said special training has been imparted to all the staff engaged in the drive.

“In the training, they are told they should double check the age of children before administering the vaccine to them as no children below the prescribed age group should be considered for the vaccine,” he said.

The number of vaccination centres will be increased from Thursday onwards, the official added.

According to the Centre’s guidelines, vaccination of 12-14 years would be conducted through dedicated inoculation sessions to avoid their unintended vaccination with any other COVID-19 vaccines.

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