COVID-19 vaccination for 12-14 age group starts, PM Modi urges all eligible to get vaccinated

New Delhi [India], March 16: As India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive expanded to children in the age group 12-14 years, and those above 60 also became eligible for precaution dose, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday urged people in these age groups to get vaccinated.

Children in the age group 12-14 years will be administered the Corbevax vaccine manufactured by Hyderabad-based Biological E starting on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the co-morbidity clause for administering precaution doses to those aged 60 years has been removed, and all above 60 years of the age can be administered with precaution dose starting on Wednesday.

“Today is an important day in India’s efforts to vaccinate our citizens. Now onwards, youngsters in the 12-14 age group are eligible for vaccines and all those above 60 are eligible for precaution doses. I urge people in these age groups to get vaccinated,” the Prime Minister tweeted.

PM Modi also reiterated that India’s vaccination drive is backed by “science.”

“India’s vaccination drive, which is the largest in the world, is science-driven. We began work to create vaccines in early 2020, to protect our citizens and strengthen our fight against the pandemic,” he further said.

Sharing the journey of India’s vaccination drive, in a series of tweets, the Prime Minister recalled that he had visited three vaccine manufacturers in late 2020 to get firsthand details before the vaccination drive began in January 2021.

“The manner in which our scientists, innovators and the private sector rose to the occasion is commendable. In late 2020, I had visited three of our vaccine manufacturers and got firsthand details of their efforts to protect our citizens,” the Prime Minister said.

“In January 2021, we began our vaccination drive for doctors, healthcare and frontline workers. The aim was to ensure those at the forefront of the fight against COVID get proper protection at the earliest,” he added.

In March 2021, the vaccination opened to those above 60 and those over 45 with comorbidities. Later, the vaccination opened for all those above 18. It should make every Indian proud that the vaccines are free of cost for those who want it, PM Modi said.

He also said the vaccination has formed a “protective shield” against COVID-19.

“Today, India has administered over 180 crore doses, which includes over 9 crore doses in age group of 15-17 and over 2 crore precaution doses. This forms an important protective shield for our citizens against COVID-19,” PM Modi said.

Speaking about our vaccine hesitancy in other nations, the Prime Minister said that it is heartening to see people of India taking their vaccines and urging others to do so.

“Over the last year, India’s vaccination drive has been people-powered. Unlike other nations where we are witnessing a lot of vaccine hesitancy, people here have not only taken their doses but also urged others to get vaccinated as soon as possible. This is heartening to see,” he said.

Lauding state governments for supporting the vaccination drive, he said, “I would like to appreciate our state governments for their support towards India’s vaccination drive. Several states, especially the hill states and those where tourism is important, have achieved near total vaccination coverage and several big states have also done well.”

The Prime Minister also highlighted that the country has also provided vaccines to other nations under the Vaccine Maitri programme.

“In line with India’s ethos of caring for the entire planet, we sent vaccines to several nations under the Vaccine Maitri programme. I am glad that India’s vaccination efforts have made the global fight against COVID-19 stronger,” the Prime Minister said.

He also urged people to keep following COVID’s appropriate behaviour to fight the pandemic.

“Today, India has many ‘Made in India’ vaccines. We have also granted approval to other vaccines after a due process of evaluation. We are in a much better position to fight this deadly pandemic. At the same time, we have to keep following all COVID related precautions,” he added. (ANI)

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