Teenagers can register for vaccines on CoWin using student IDtext_fields
Children aged 15-18 would be able to register for their first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine from January 1 onwards by using their student identity cards to create an account on the CoWin platform, CoWin head Dr.R.S Sharma told press agency ANI on Monday. The announcement comes on the heels of the Prime Minister's decision to allow vaccination of school-age children to allow schools to get back to normal function.
ID cards were the preferred option as not all students may have Aadhar, the government revealed. On Saturday, PM Modi announced that children aged 15-18 would be allowed to get vaccinated from January 3 onwards.
Children in India will be vaccinated with one of two shots - either Bharat Biotech's double-dose Covaxin or Zydus Cadila's three-dose ZyCoV-D, both of which have been cleared for those over 12. ZyCov-D is indigenously developed and the world's first DNA-based, needle-free COVID-19 vaccine, with its three doses to be administered 28 days apart.
Two other vaccines - Serum Institutes Novovax and Biological E's Corbevax - have been suggested as possible candidates for the vaccination drive in children and teenagers although they have not received regulatory approval just yet. Currently, Novovax is conducting trials on children aged 11 and above while Corbevax has been cleared for trials involving children aged 5 and above.
Some parents have expressed reservation about the possible side effects of the vaccines on a younger population which is statistically less at risk for severe Covid infections. However, with India's Omicron tally at 578 this morning and a large number of Omicron infections in children in America, the case for vaccines remains strong according to experts. Israel and the US have both introduced vaccines for children.
While India has reached a whopping 141.7 crore vaccinations administered, only approximately 58 crore have received both doses. Booster vaccinations have been cleared for the population above 60 as well as frontline health workers as the country braces for the impact of the fast-spreading Omicron variant that modelling studies say could cause a third wave in India, peaking by February.