Children between 15 and 18 can register for COVID-19 vaccines on the CoWIN app from January 1 using their school ID cards. This announcement was officially stated by the centre following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement regarding Covid vaccination for children last week.

CoWIN chief Dr RS Sharma has stated that an additional slot had been created on the online platform so students could use their ID cards to register for the shots. This has been done because some children may not have Aadhaar or other required ID cards, he said.

It may be recalled that the PM Narendra Modi, on Saturday, had said children in the 15-18 age group could get their first round of Covid vaccines from January 3. The Prime Minister said vaccinating kids would help schools and students return to normal.

Children in India will be vaccinated with one of two shots – either Bharat Biotech’s double-dose Covaxin or Zydus Cadila’s three-dose ZyCoV-D, both of which have been cleared for kids over 12. Meanwhile, the drug controller has cleared Serum Institute’s Novavax for trials on kids between seven and 11 years of age, and Biological E’s Corbevax has been cleared for trials on children over five. Neither Novavax nor Corbevax have been cleared for use as yet.

Dr NK Arora, chief of India’s immunisation task force, has stated that Covaxin showed very good immune response in tests on the 15-18 age group. The decision to start vaccinating children comes amid an alarming increase in Covid cases in schools.

Meanwhile, the medical fraternity has welcomed this move by the PM. Dr Vivek Nangia- Principle Director and Head of Pulmonology in Max Hospital, Saket Complex said: “Extending the covid vaccine coverage to the frontline workers, to the elders, those with co-morbidities and youngsters is a very welcome move. The entire medical fraternity was looking forward to this news for some time now. And we will embrace this as a New Year’s gift from the Honourable Prime Minister. Vaccinating the children now is also relevant at this point when we are seeing the rising number of cases in the youngsters as well, although it’s considered to be a mild illness in the children let’s not forget there is a small percentage who do develop neurological complications and also develop the multi-organ inflammatory syndrome which can sometimes lead to devastating complications among children. So all in all, it’s a very good move and I would like to thank the Honourable Prime Minister for this”.

Dr Ravi Gaur, Founder DRG Lab & Co Chair Health wellness committee, Delhi said, “Much awaited announcement of Prime Minister, for starting covid vaccination for children between 15-18 years, is a very welcome step. It will not only help in protecting young school going children from covid, but also allay apprehension and stress of all parents. The decision to allow booster vaccines for millions of healthcare workers and frontline covid warriors is very reassuring. With the possibility of a third wave, Omicron threat and fast increasing numbers of positive cases, the country needs to get its health infrastructure in a state of readiness. Keeping healthcare workers and warriors safe will definitely help in augmenting much needed infrastructure.

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