Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced COVID-19 vaccine doses for children between the age group of 15-18 from January 3, 2022. In his address, Modi said that healthcare and frontline workers will be eligible to receive a "precautionary dose" of the vaccine and those above 60 years of age with co-morbidities on the advice of their doctors can also receive booster doses.
The rollout of booster shots will begin on January 10, 2022.
Modi's announcements come after the Drug Controller General of India provided emergency use authorisation to Bharat Biotech's vaccine, Covaxin, for kids aged 12-18 years.
Covaxin is the second COVID-19 vaccine to be approved for children after Zydus Cadila's ZyCoV-D received the EUA for children between 12-18 years.
Modi also said that DNA and Nasal vaccines will soon be launched in India. ZyCov-D vaccine is the DNA vaccine in India while Bharat Biotech's nasal vaccine is currently undergoing clinical trials.
As of Christmas 2021, India has vaccinated 1.41 crore people with Modi stating that 61 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
With cases of the Omicron variant rising across the world, Modi stated that India is well-prepared to tackle the rising cases. Modi said that India has 18 lakh isolation beds, 5 lakh oxygen-supported beds, 1.4 lakh ICU beds, 90,000 special beds for children, 3,000 functional PSA Oxygen plants and 4 lakh Oxygen cylinders.