NEW DELHI: The government said on Tuesday that both walk-in and online registration through CoWIN would be available for vaccination of children in the 15-18 age group, who would start getting doses against COVID-19 on January 3.
Union Health Secretary on Tuesday chaired a workshop through video conference with all states and UTs to review the rollout of vaccination for the age group 15-18 and precautionary third dose for vulnerable categories – healthcare workers (HCW), frontline workers (FLW), and those in the 60+ age group who have co-morbidity.
As announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 25, 2021, the vaccination for the age-group 15-18 is scheduled to begin from January 3, 2022, while administration of precautionary third dose for the vulnerable categories will commence from January 10.
In the context of the vaccination of the age group 15-18 years, the Union Health Secretary informed the states and UTs that only ‘Covaxin’ is to be administered in this population category and additional doses of the vaccine will be sent to them.
A Health Ministry release said that the Union Government will share the supply schedule of Covaxin with all the States and UTs in the next few days.
“Potential beneficiaries can either register themselves on Co-WIN from January 1, 2022, or avail of a walk-in registration when vaccination commences from January 3. Those with the birth year of 2007 or before will be eligible for vaccination under this category,” the release said.
It said all established protocols regarding vaccination are to be followed for the 15-18 age group and beneficiaries are to wait for half an hour when they will be monitored for AEFI. They will be eligible for the second dose only after 28 days.
States were informed that they have the option to designate some COVID Vaccination Center (CVC)s as dedicated CVC for the 15-18 age group exclusively which can also be reflected on Co-WIN. Dedicated CVCs would ensure that there is no confusion in administering the vaccines.
For CVCs that are intended to serve categories in addition to the 15-18 age group, the States were requested to ensure separate queues for the 15-18 age group and separate vaccination teams.
States were advised to form two separate vaccination teams at the same CVC, one for 15-18 age groups and the other for all adults to avoid confusion in the administration of the right vaccines.
With regards to the administration of the precautionary dose, Union Health Secretary highlighted that nine months (39 weeks) must have elapsed since the administration of the second dose to make the beneficiary eligible.
Drawing attention to misinformation being propagated through various media regarding the requirement of a doctor’s certificate to establish co-morbidity at the CVC, the Health Secretary categorically emphasized that the Union Government has not issued any directions “and prescriptions/certificates are not mandated to be produced at the CVC for the administration of the precaution dose”.
He also informed that CoWIN will send reminder messages to all those eligible for precaution dose and it will be reflected in the digital vaccination certificates.
States were advised to ensure the orientation of vaccinators and vaccination team members for vaccination of 15-18 years age-group and the identification of dedicated session sites for vaccination of 15-18 years age-group.
They were exhorted to undertake proper planning in advance for the distribution of Covaxin to identified session sites.
“To avoid the mixing-up of vaccines during administration, separate CVCs, separate session sites, separate queue (if at same session where adult vaccination is ongoing) and separate vaccination team (if at same session site) are to be strived for,” the release said.
States, UTs were also advised to share their requirement of vaccine doses through district-wise estimation of beneficiaries using Co-WIN. They are to publicise sessions where vaccination will be available for the 15-18 year age group.
“Sufficient vaccines will be provided to states to cover these beneficiaries,” the release said.