Union Health Ministry engages with States/UTs to review the rollout of vaccination for the age group 15-18 yrs and Precautionary dose for identified vulnerable categories

New Delhi : Union Health Secretary,  Rajesh Bhushan, chaired a workshop through video conference (VC) today with all States and UTs to review the rollout of vaccination for the age group 15-18 and Precautionary 3rd dose for vulnerable categories; Healthcare workers (HCW), Frontline workers (FLW), and those in the 60+ age group who have comorbidity.

As announced by the Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi on 25th December, 2021, the vaccination for the age-group 15-18 yrs is scheduled to begin from Monday, 3rd January, 2022 while administration of precautionary 3rd dose for the vulnerable categories is to commence from Monday, 10th January, 2022. The detailed guidelines regarding this were issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on 27th December,2021

In context of the vaccination of the age group 15-18 yrs, the Union Health Secretary informed the States/UTs that only ‘Covaxin’ is to be administered in this population category and additional doses of ‘Covaxin’ will be sent to all States and UTs. 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 the 1st of January, 2022 or avail of a walk-in registration when vaccination commences from the 3rd of January. Those with a birth year of 2007 or before will be eligible for vaccination under this category.

All established protocols regarding vaccination are to be followed for the 15-18 yrs age group; beneficiaries are to wait for half-an-hour when they will be monitored for AEFI and will be eligible for the 2nd 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 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 other for all adults to avoid confusion in administration of the right vaccines.

With regards to the administration of the precautionary dose, the Union Health Secretary highlighted that 9 month (39 weeks) must have elapsed since the administration of the 2nd 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, he categorically emphasized that the Union Government has not issued any directions on the said matter and prescriptions/certificates are NOT mandated to be produced at the CVC for administration of the precaution dose. He also informed that CoWIN will send reminder messages to all those eligible for Precaution dose and Precaution dose will be reflected in the digital vaccination certificates.

States/UTs were further 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. States were exhorted to undertake proper planning in advance for 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. States/UTs were also advised to share their requirement of vaccine doses through district wise estimation of beneficiaries using Co-WIN. They are to publicize sessions where vaccination will be available for 15-18 years age-groups. Sufficient vaccines will be provided to states to cover these beneficiaries

Dr. Manohar Agnani, Additional Secretary (Health), Shri Vishal Chauhan, Joint Secretary (Health) were present in the meeting along with Principal Secretary (Health), Additional Chief Secretary (Health) and State Surveillance Officer of the concerned states/UTs.

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