Kochi

Special drive to boost COVID-19 vaccine coverage among 12- to 14-year-olds

The slow pace in administering COVID-19 vaccines among children in the age group of 12–14 has prompted the authorities to scale up efforts before the start of the new academic year.

As per official estimates, only 37% of the children in the age group of 12–14 had received the first dose of Corbevax, a protein subunit vaccine, as on Saturday. The roll out of Corbevax, which is administered via the intramuscular route with two doses scheduled 28 days apart, for the target group had commenced from March 16 this year. Despite officials from Health and Education Departments giving assurances on the safety of the vaccine, there is considerable reluctance among the parents.

However, the response has been better among those in the age group of 15–17, who are administered with Covaxin shots, with around 78% of the target group receiving the first dose.

Honey G. Alexander, Deputy Director of Education in Ernakulam, said that special camps will be held in schools ahead of the reopening on June 1. “We have sought the cooperation of parent-teacher associations and local bodies to bring maximum students in the target groups to the camps. The vaccination among children in the age group of 12–14 has improved compared to the figures last week,” she said.

District Collector Jafar Malik has suggested school-level nodal officers to ensure that children are vaccinated. Teachers and the local bodies need to be part of such special drives to improve the vaccine coverage.

The health authorities in the district said that teachers had been told to contact parents and request them to ensure the participation of their children in the special vaccination camps to be organised in schools. More camps will be set up across schools in the district to scale up coverage, they said.


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Printable version | May 21, 2022 10:55:50 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/special-drive-to-boost-covid-19-vaccine-coverage-among-12-to-14-year-olds/article65442423.ece