India begins vaccinating 12-14 age group; boosters for those above 60

India begins vaccinating 12-14 age group; boosters for those above 60

India's first intranasal vaccine for Covid gets DCGI approval

representational image (iStock photo)

India today began free of cost Covid-19 vaccination for all beneficiaries in the 12-14 age group at all government vaccination centres. In addition, all those above 60 years of age are being given precaution doses.

The launch of the massive exercise coincided with the National Vaccination Day which is observed each year on 16 March to convey the importance of vaccination and its role in public health.

In a message on the occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that today was an important day in India’s efforts to vaccinate its citizens and urged youngsters in the 12-14 age group and all those above 60 to get vaccinated.


“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,” he said.

The PM said; “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.”

The vaccine is being administered to those in the 12-14 age group is Corbevax, manufactured by Biological E. Limited, Hyderabad. Additionally, all above 60 years of age are also being given precaution dose as the condition of comorbidity for this age group has been removed.

The Precaution Dose (same as the previous two doses) is to be administered after 9 months (36 weeks) after the date of the second vaccination. The centre has sent detailed instructions and operational guidelines to states and Union Territories (UTs) in this regard.

States have been advised to ensure that only those who have attained the age of 12 years on the date of vaccination are vaccinated against Covid-19. If the beneficiary is registered but has not attained the age of 12 years on the date of vaccination, the vaccine is not to be given.

Vaccinators and vaccination teams have also been trained to ensure that particularly for the 12-14 age group there is no mixing of vaccines.

States have also been advised to organise dedicated sessions through earmarked vaccination centres for vaccination of 12-14 age group to avoid mixing with other vaccines.

States/UTs have been informed that at present the age of beneficiary in CoWIN is being filtered based on the Year of Birth. The responsibility for verification of age (12 years) will lie with the vaccinator/verifier at the time of vaccination for the first few days as the provision for recording the exact Date of Birth in the Co-WIN portal is under process. Once implemented, the system, by default, will not allow the registration of beneficiaries who are not of the recommended age.

Underscoring the slow pace of vaccination among the vulnerable groups, the centre has urged the states/UTs to ensure that all those above 60 years of age are covered with both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

States have also been advised to ensure judicious utilisation of available Covid-19 vaccines. As per earlier guidelines, states can replace those that are due for expiry and also replace them from one district within the State to another to ensure that vaccines are not wasted.