- Health Ministry on Feb 1 requested States, UTs to accelerate 2nd dose coverage for age group 15-18
- Health Secy Rajesh Bhushan wrote a letter to all states and UTs in this regard
- Letter highlighted that nationwide COVID vax programme of India has been expanded in phased manner
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday requested States and Union Territories to direct concerned officials to accelerate the second dose coverage amongst due beneficiaries aged 15-18 years while ensuring that remaining beneficiaries for the first dose also receive it in a time-bound manner.
"I hereby request you to direct the concerned officials to accelerate the 2nd dose coverage amongst due beneficiaries aged 15-18 years while also ensuring that remaining beneficiaries for 1st dose also receive it in a time-bound manner," read the letter by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan to states and UTs.
The letter highlighted that the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination programme of India has been expanded in a phased manner based on available scientific evidence and global best practices and presently, all persons aged 15 years and above are eligible for vaccination.
With the proactive efforts of States/UTs, along with the Government of India, the Centre has administered more than 166.68 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccine which is amongst the highest in the world.
COVID-19 vaccination for 15-18 years' age-group started from January 3, 2022, and as on date, more than 4.66 crore doses have been administered in this age group resulting in the first dose coverage of 63 per cent in a span of less than a month.The vaccine used in this group is Covaxin which has an interval of 28 days between the two doses to complete the primary vaccination schedule, read the letter.
The health ministry suggested that a tailored communication strategy focused at an adolescent population and their caregivers should also be rolled out to make them aware about the timely completion of vaccination schedule and sustain their vaccine confidence.