Modi announces vaccination for children in 15-18 age group, booster dose for frontline, healthcare workers
New Delhi, December 25, 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced that vaccination against COVID-19 would start for children in the age group of 15-18 years from January 3, 2022.
In an address to the nation, Modi also announced that a "precaution dose" of COVID-19 vaccine would be given for healthcare and frontline workers from January 10.
Modi said the move to vaccinate children in the 15-18 age group was likely to aid in the normalisation of education in schools and reduce the worry of parents with school-going children.
He said the precaution dose for frontline workers and healthcare workers because of the amount of time that they spend in the service of COVID-19 patients.
He said this was being called "precaution dose" in India and not "booster dose" as in other countries.
"The decision of precaution dose will strengthen confidence of healthcare and frontline workers," he said.
The Prime Minister also announced that option of precaution dose will be available for senior citizens above 60 years of age with co-morbidities on the advice of their doctors from January 10.
Referring to the Omicron infections In India, Modi requested the people not to panic and to follow precautions such as masks and washing hands repeatedly. He said that the global experience of fighting the pandemic has shown that following all guidelines is the biggest weapon in the fight against the coronavirus. The second weapon against the pandemic is vaccination, he stressed.
The Prime Minister said that the vaccination campaign started on January 16 this year has crossed the mark of 141 crore doses. He credited the collective efforts of the citizens, scientists and health workers and doctors for this success. The seriousness of vaccine was identified very early and along with research on vaccine, work was focussed on approval process, supply chain, distribution, training, IT support system and certification, he said. Due to these efforts, 61 per cent of the adult population of the country has received both the vaccines and 90 per cent adults have received one dose.
Modi emphasized that, today, as the virus is mutating, the nation's capability and confidence to face the challenge is also multiplying along with its innovative spirit.
He said that today the country has 18 lakh isolation beds, 5 lakh oxygen-supported beds, 1 lakh 40 thousand ICU beds, 90 thousand ICU and Non ICU beds specially for children, more than 3 thousand PSA oxygen plants, 4 lakh oxygen cylinders and support to states is being provided for buffer doses and testing.
The Prime Minister said that soon the country will develop nasal vaccine and the world’s first DNA vaccine. He emphasized that India’s fight against the pandemic has, from the very beginning, been based on scientific principles, scientific consultation and scientific method.
He said the 11-month vaccination campaign had brought relief and normalcy in the everyday lives of countrymen. Economic activities have been encouraging compared to many countries of the world. However, the Prime Minister cautioned that the coronavirus has not yet gone and alertness is of paramount importance.
Modi also cautioned against the efforts to spread rumours, confusion and fear. He appealed to the people to strengthen the speed of the world’s biggest vaccination campaign in the coming days.