New Delhi, February 2: The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday requested states and Union Territories to direct officials to accelerate the second dose coverage among due beneficiaries in the 15-18 age group while ensuring that the remaining beneficiaries for the first dose also receive it in a time-bound manner.
"I hereby request you to direct the officials concerned to accelerate the second dose coverage among due beneficiaries in the 15-18 age group while also ensuring that remaining beneficiaries for the first dose also receive it in a time-bound manner," read the letter by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan to states and UTs.
The letter highlighted that the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination programme of India has been expanded in a phased manner based on available scientific evidence and global best practices. Currently, all persons aged 15 years and above are eligible for vaccination.
With the proactive efforts of states/UTs, along with the Government of India, the Centre has administered more than 166.68 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccine, which is among the highest in the world.
Covid-19 vaccination for the 15-18 age-group started from January 3, 2022, and as on date, more than 4.66 crore doses have been administered in this age group resulting in the first dose coverage of 63 per cent in a span of less than a month.
The vaccine used in this group is Covaxin which has an interval of 28 days between the two doses to complete the primary vaccination schedule, read the letter. The health ministry suggested that a tailored communication strategy focused at an adolescent population and their caregivers should also be rolled out to make them aware about the timely completion of vaccination schedule and sustain their vaccine confidence.