For child vaccination drive, Maharashtra to get final figures from Centre

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Although the Centre has given the green signal to a mass Covid vaccination programme for children in the age group of 15-18 years, the state doesn’t yet have the final figure of those eligible for it. The Centre will hold a meeting with the state to provide the figure and discuss the preparatory requirements to start the first round of vaccination from January 3.

“We have the data about the children in the 15-18 age group. But we have been instructed to use the data provided by the Centre which they will pull out from the census,” said Dr Sachin Desai, state immunization officer.

Additional chief secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas said, “As per the National Family Health Survey-5, 73.5% of the population is above 18 years and 22.8% under 15. Around 3.7% of the population is in the 15-18 age group.”

In Mumbai, there are nine lakh children in the age group eligible for vaccination.

Meanwhile, from January 10, healthcare and frontline workers will be administered a booster— called a “precaution dose”. Also, citizens above the age of 60 with co-morbidities will be eligible for the shot on their doctor’s advice.

As per sources, the Centre will be responsible for providing the data on beneficiaries eligible for the booster shots from the centralised Co-Win application.

“Once, we get the data, we will individually call them, informing them about the shot. It will be voluntary so we cannot force anyone to take the third dose,” said an officer.

In Maharashtra, over 86% of the population is partially vaccinated and 56% fully vaccinated against Covid.

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