The Union Health Ministry will take the decision over the administration of Covid-19 vaccine to children below 15 years of age only after the scientific evidence, said Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Thursday.
"From January 16, 2021, the Covid-19 vaccination drive has been started and rolled out based on scientific evidence and assumptions of protecting the most vulnerable people. So, as the scientific evidence evolved, we will be expanding the coverage of vaccination. We will make a decision on the basis of scientific evidence for below 15 years old children," Bhushan said while addressing a press conference.
Dr VK Paul, Member (Health) Niti Aayog further explained that "Covid-19 vaccination for 12 years old is the next goal. These decisions will only be taken after scientific information and scientific decision. We are working on it."
Earlier, the official sources claimed that vaccination for children under 15 years of age has not been yet taken by the Union Health Ministry.
The Central government also informed that 72 percent of India's adult population is fully vaccinated and around 52 percent of children in the 15-18 age group have been inoculated with the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
The health officials also reported that the adolescents in the age group of 15-18 years are actively participating in the Covid-19 vaccination drive.
On Monday, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had said that over 3.5 crore teenagers between the age of 15 to 18 years have received the first jab of the Covid-19 vaccine.
"Amazing spirit among young India for Cvodi-19 vaccination. Over 3.5 crore children between the 15-18 age group have received 1st dose of the vaccine since January 3. Congratulations to all my young friends who have got vaccinated," the health minister said on Twitter.
So far, India has administered around 3.45 crore first Covid-19 vaccine jabs to children in the age group of 15-18 years old.
The country started vaccinating children between the ages of 15-18 years from January 3 following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement on December 25, 2021.
It is worth mentioning that India could begin vaccinating children in the age group of 12-14 years against Covid-19 in March 2022, as per the statement given by Dr NK Arora, the Chairman of the Covid-19 working group of NTAGI.