The new decision will mean that, while Corbevax will be offered to the younger adolescents, those in the 15-17-year age group will continue to get Covaxin.
More than two months after opening COVID-19 vaccination for the 15-17-year age group in the country, the Centre has now announced plans to expand the programme further to include the 12-14-year age group, beginning March 16. The estimated population of this age group in India is 7.11 crore, said government sources.
The younger adolescents will be offered Corbevax by Hyderabad based Biological E, a receptor binding domain protein sub unit vaccine, developed in collaboration with the USA’s Baylor College.
The health ministry said that the decision has been taken following “due deliberations with scientific bodies”.
This means that those born in 2008-2010 will now also be eligible for shots against COVID-19.
Importantly, the government has also decided that the condition of co-morbidity for COVID-19 precaution dose for population over 60 years of age will now be removed from March 16.
In other words, the entire population above 60 years of age will be eligible for COVID-19 booster doses.
Only Covaxin, the COVID-19 vaccine by Bharat Biotech, is permitted for the 15-17-year age group, whose population is estimated at 7.4 crore.
Beginning January 10, 2022, healthcare and frontline workers apart from those above 60 years with underlying diseases were eligible for precaution doses, provided that they had completed 9 months since their second dose.