“If children are safe, the country is safe. It makes me really happy to announce that from March 16, children in (the) 12-14 age group can get vaccinated against Covid,”
health minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted on Monday.
All adults above 60 years of age will be able to get booster doses. So far, only those 60+ seniors with co-morbidities were eligible for the third dose of vaccine.
In his tweet, the minister also appealed: “I request all adults above 60, and family members of children to get the shots.” For the 12-14 age group, the vaccine that will be given “would be Corbevax manufactured by Biological Evans, Hyderabad”, the government said in a statement.
“The government has also decided that the pre-condition of co-morbidity for Covid-19 booster dose for population over 60 years of age will be removed forthwith. Hence, from 16th March 2022 onwards, the entire population above 60 years of age will be eligible for precaution dose of Covid-19 vaccine,” the statement further underlined.
India began the world’s largest vaccination programme in January 2021. The first phase was for health workers and frontline workers. The programme was then expanded to adults above 60 in March 2021, and then to all adults two months later. Amid concerns over new variants, the country began giving booster doses in January. For children, the vaccination for 15-18 age group began in January this year.
The country has administered more than 180 crore doses of vaccines so far. After a huge surge in cases in January, driven largely by Omicron, the country is now witnessing a sharp drop. On Monday, only 2,503 cases were logged, the lowest daily rise in 680 days.