City gets ready for vaccinating teenagers

The target group of 15.34 lakh teenagers will be vaccinated with help from General Education Department

Health Minister Veena George has said all arrangements are in place for the COVID-19 vaccination drive meant for teenagers in the 15-18 age group that will get under way on Sunday. Covaxin will be administered at the special vaccination centres from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

According to her, the target group included 15.34 lakh teenagers who would be vaccinated with support from the General Education Department.

Having prepared an action plan for the purpose, the government has arranged separate vaccination facilities for teenagers and other sections that were previously permitted to receive the vaccine. Pink and blue boards will be installed outside and within the respective centres to differentiate them.

While the services of doctors will be made available at each centre, vaccine seekers have been advised to inform volunteers of any allergy or other ailments prior to vaccination. She urged the public to register in the CoWIN portal before seeking vaccination. However, spot registration facility will also be arranged at the centres.

The Health Minister also called upon the public to exercise extreme caution in wake of the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 would need to get the vaccine only after three months of infection. Students will be required to produce Aadhaar card or their school identification cards for the vaccination.

The government hoped to expedite the vaccination drive in accordance with the available vaccine stock. There were currently 65,000 Covaxin doses in the State. Nearly 5 lakh doses are likely to be dispatched by the Centre. General Education Minister V. Sivankutty urged school teachers and parents-teachers associations to take the initiative in ensuring maximum vaccine coverage among the target group. Awareness must be propagated during class sessions. Of the estimated students in the age group, nearly 12 lakh were from the general education stream. These included CBSE, ICSE, industrial training institutes (ITI) and polytechnics. He added the department would update its data on vaccinated students on a daily basis.

To coordinate

Mr. Sivankutty added the department would also convene meetings of officials of various education boards including CBSE to coordinate the efforts.

The vaccination drive for children would be conducted on all days except Wednesday until January 10 at General Hospitals, District Hospitals, Taluk Hospitals and community health centres.

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