India To Start Vaccinating 12- to 14-Year-Olds Against COVID-19

Schoolchildren attend class after the majority of schools were reopened following their closure due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Mumbai, India, February 24, 2022. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

India will start administering COVID-19 vaccinations to 12- to 14-year-olds from March 16, the country's health ministry said on Monday, as schools reopen across the country with standard restrictions amid a significant fall in cases.

The government also decided to remove the condition of co-morbidity for people above 60 years to receive a booster shot, the ministry said in a statement.

India has so far been vaccinating children aged 15 and above. According to government figures, more than 90 million children aged between 15 and 17 have been inoculated, mainly using Bharat Biotech's homegrown shot Covaxin.

India's third wave of COVID-19 cases driven by the Omicron variant has receded, with the country reporting 2,503 infections on Monday compared to more than 300,000 in late January.

The health ministry said children in the age group of 12 to 14 years would be inoculated using vaccine maker Biological E. Ltd's Corbevax, which received an emergency use approval in February for 12- to 18-year-olds.

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