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COVID-19 vaccination for 15-18 yrs group from Jan 3, additional dose for healthcare workers: PM Modi

COVID-19 vaccination for 15-18 yrs group from Jan 3, additional dose for healthcare workers: PM Modi

The precaution dose will also be available for those above 60 years of age and with comorbidities, based on advise from their doctors, Modi said.

PM Modi urged the people to be mindful of COVID-19 and follow all the protocols. PM Modi urged the people to be mindful of COVID-19 and follow all the protocols.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced that India will begin COVID-19 vaccination for 15-18 years age group from January 3. Besides, he said the healthcare and frontline workers will be provided an additional dose of vaccine, starting from January 10.

Addressing the nation, the prime minister said that the healthcare and frontline workers, who are corona warriors, have played a huge role in keeping the country safe in the fight against COVID-19.

Keeping this in mind, the government will start giving a precaution dose to the healthcare and frontline workers from January 10. Besides, the precaution dose will also be available for those above 60 years of age and with comorbidities, based on advise from their doctors, Modi said. The precaution dose for them will also be available from January 10.

The prime minister used the word 'precaution dose' instead of 'booster dose', as is widely used by other countries.

The Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) has given emergency use approval to Bharat Biotech for its COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin for 12-18 years age group, with certain conditions. PM Modi said vaccination for 15-18 years age group will aid in education normalisation in schools and will reduce the worry of the parents with school going children. 

Also Read: DGCI gives emergency use approval to Bharat Biotech's Covaxin for 12-18 years age group

The prime minister urged the people to be mindful of COVID-19 and follow all the protocols while celebrating the new year. He said few cases of Omicron variant of the virus have also been reported in India. "I would urge all of you not to panic, be careful and alert. Remember to mask up and keep washing hands," he said.

He said the global experience of fighting the pandemic has taught that following all guidelines is the biggest weapon in the fight against the coronavirus. The second weapon is vaccination.

India's response against COVID-19 is based on scientific evidence and advice, Modi said. He also said that the country will soon get an intranasal vaccine and a DNA vaccine. 

"As the virus is mutating, our capability and confidence to face the challenge is also multiplying along with our innovative spirit," he said. He also informed that the country today has 18 lakh isolation beds, 5 lakh oxygen supported beds, 1.4 lakh ICU beds, 90,000 ICU and non-ICU beds specially for children, more than 3,000 PSA oxygen plants, 4 lakh oxygen cylinders. The government is also providing support to states for buffer doses and testing.

The 11-month vaccination campaign in the country has brought relief and normalcy in the everyday lives of the countrymen. Economic activities have been encouraging compared to many countries of the world. However, the prime minister cautioned that coronavirus has not gone and alertness is of paramount importance.

He also cautioned people about rumours, confusion and fear, and appealed to strengthen the speed of the world's largest vaccination campaign in the coming days.

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