PM Modi announces vaccines for 15-18, precaution dose for Covid warriors: What next for India
New Delhi, Dec 26: In a much needed relief amid Omicron scare, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced covid vaccination for children above 15 years and booster dose for frontline workers.
From 3rd January 2022, Monday, vaccination will start for the children in the age group of 15-18 years. The move is likely to aid in education normalization in schools and will reduce the worry of the parents with school going children.
The third shot called precaution dose, called booster shot in foreign countries for healthcare and frontline workers from 10th January 2022, Monday.
This has been done in the light of the amount of time that the frontline workers and health care workers spend in the service of Covid patients. In India, this has been called 'precaution dose' not booster dose. The decision of precaution dose will strengthen confidence of healthcare and frontline workers.
The Prime Minister also announced that option of precaution dose will be available for senior citizens above 60 years of age with co-morbidities on the advice of their doctors from 10th January, 2022.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Saturday announcement was significant as there was growing call for a third shot amid highly-infectious and fast-spreading Omicron coronavirus variant. As of Dec 25, India saw 415 Omicron cases and 115 recoveries.
There is gripping fear among children and old alike as the country is witnessing steep increase in the Omicron cases. The prime Ministers decision on vacination has been hailed by many, including doctors and scietists and they also listed out measures need to be taken in the coming days.
What next for India?
Speaking to ANI, Dr Dhiren Gupta, a paediatric pulmonologist at Delhi's Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said "It is a welcome decision. The next plan should be to vaccinate children above 5 years old. Paediatricians should be allowed to vaccinate these children in their clinics," Dr Dhiren Gupta, a paediatric pulmonologist at Delhi's Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.
"Not only we should target 13 years plus children, but also we should target 5 years old also. That should be our next plan. All paediatricians should be allowed to vaccinate these children in their clinics if we want to expedite the vaccination process," he added.
Dr Gupta suggested that the "precaution dose" of the Covid-19 vaccine to healthcare and frontline workers should be given earlier than announced by PM Modi.
"But why wait till January 10. Every day is important in a pandemic. We know that Omicron is increasing at a fast pace. We will get variations of this virus. A booster dose takes approximately three weeks to make sufficient antibodies. The booster vaccination should start within two or three days. Looking at the entire population, we should start it as soon as possible".