Vaccination of children in the 12-14 years age group against COVID-19 started in Delhi on Wednesday, amid a steady dip in coronavirus cases reported in the national capital. About six to seven lakh children in this age bracket in the city are eligible for vaccination to begin with, and the number would keep increasing as days pass, official sources said on Tuesday.
Several Covid vaccination centres across 11 districts in Delhi have been identified for the inoculation exercise. The city government has received 6,31,400 doses of Corbevax vaccine, official sources said on Tuesday, adding, training has been imparted to staff from all stakeholder departments for the exercise.
"We are all prepared, with training having been imparted to staff from all stakeholder departments, vaccine doses received, and the education department is 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. "We will check Aadhaar card or school I-card to ensure the beneficiary is absolutely eligible as per the norm," he added.
As the 12-14 age group is a new category, the official said, few software integration issues have been encountered on the Co-WIN portal. Since the eligibility of the beneficiary will be strictly scrutinised, the exercise on Day one will mostly be on a walk-in basis, the official said. The exercise for this age group is starting amid a steady fall in COVID-19 cases in the city.
Delhi on Tuesday reported 131 fresh COVID-19 cases and two deaths, while the positivity rate stood at 0.42 per cent, according to data shared by the city health department. On March 5, 6, 10, 11 and 13, the city had recorded zero fatality count. The number of daily cases in Delhi has been on the decline after touching the record high of 28,867 on January 13. The city had recorded a positivity rate of 30.6 per cent on January 14, the highest during the ongoing wave of the pandemic.
The Centre had on Tuesday released guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination of children between 12-14 years, 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. 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.
With PTI Inputs