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12-14 year-old children to be vaccinated for covid from March 16
The two-dose covid vaccine to be administered to the 12-14 years age group will be Corbevax manufactured by Biological E, Hyderabad, in collaboration with US research centres. The vaccine is administered through intramuscular route with two doses scheduled 28 days apart and is stored at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius temperature and presented as 0.5 ml (single dose) and 5 ml (10 doses) vial and 10 mL (20 doses) vial pack. It may be the cheapest vaccine available in India with its two shots expected to cost Rs 400.

NEW DELHI, March 14: The covid vaccine for children in the age group of 12-14 years will be administered from March 16, the Central Government announced on Monday. All those above 14 years of age are already covered under the national vaccination programme.

The two-dose covid vaccine to be administered to the 12-14 years age group will be Corbevax, a "recombinant protein sub-unit vaccine", manufactured by Biological Evans, Hyderabad.

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted on Monday, "If the children are safe then the country is safe! I am happy to inform that the covid vaccination of children in the age group of 12 to 13 and 13 to 14 is starting from March 16. All those aged 60 years and above will also now be able to get precaution doses."

A Health Ministry statement said, "The Union Government after due deliberations with scientific bodies has decided to start covid vaccination for 12-13 yr and 13-14 yr age groups (those born in 2008, 2009 and 2010 i.e those who are already above 12 years of age) of the population from March 16, 2022. It is to be noted that population above 14 years of age is already being administered covid vaccine under the ongoing vaccination programme. The Government has also decided that the condition of comorbidity for precaution dose for population of over 60 years of age will be removed forthwith. Hence, from March 16 onward, the entire population above 60 years of age will be eligible for precaution dose of covid vaccine."

The vaccination drive was launched in the country first time on January 16 last year. Healthcare workers (HCWs) were given the first dose in the first phase. The vaccination of frontline workers (FLWs) started on February 2. Vaccination of those above 60 years of age and those aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions began on March 1. Vaccination of all aged above 45 years without condition began on April 1. Everyone above 18 years was allowed to be vaccinated from May 1. Vaccination of adolescents in the age group of 15-18 years began on January 3.

The booster dose (third dose) immunisation programme began with healthcare workers, frontline workers, election duty staff and those aged 60 years and above with co-morbidities on January 10, 2022.

Over 180 crore doses of vaccine have been administered in India so far. After a third wave of the pandemic caused by Omicron variant in January this year, the cases have almost hit the bottomline. On Sunday, there were only 2,503 cases reported from across the country against several lakhs during the peak of the Delta wave.

CORBEVAX: The vaccine is administered through intramuscular route with two doses scheduled 28 days apart and is stored at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius temperature and presented as 0.5 ml (single dose) and 5 ml (10 doses) vial and 10 mL (20 doses) vial pack. It is India's first indigenously developed Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) Protein sub-unit vaccine against covid. Corbevax had an effectiveness of over 90 per cent against the original Wuhan strain of the novel coronavirus and was more than 80 per cent effective in preventing symptomatic infections with the Delta variant. “The vaccine will be effective both in scale and affordability, providing sustainable access to low-and middle-income countries," the company said. It could be the cheapest vaccine available in India with its two shots expected to cost Rs 400. It was developed by Biological E in collaboration with Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

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