The West Bengal government will be rolling out the COVID-19 vaccination drive for children in the 12-14 years age group from March 21, an official said. The rest of the country has already begun its mass inoculations for children this week.
The launch of the vaccination drive in the state got delayed as “the administration received the standard operating procedures from the Centre late”, the official stressed.
The beneficiaries would be administered only Corbevax and they can book their slots online though the facility of on-site registration will also be available, a state government notification said on March 17.
“(The) COVID-19 vaccination for children in the age group of 12-14 years will start from March 21. Only Corbevax vaccine would be used for the beneficiaries,” the notification issued by the state health department said.
The department asked vaccinators to ensure that the vaccine is “administered to only those children who have completed the age of 12 years on the date of immunisation”. “The Corbevax will be given from government vaccine centres only. Two doses of it will be given at an interval of 28 days,” the department added.
Separate vaccination centres will be established to cover children under the inoculation drive. The COVID Vaccination Centres (CVCs) may be established on school premises following all safety norms, the notification added.
The health department said precautionary doses would now be provided to all people above 60 years of age. As of March 17, West Bengal reported 94 fresh COVID-19 cases, 29 more than the previous day, with the tally rising to 20,16,675, the department said. One more person succumbed to the disease, taking the toll to 21,192.
At least 132 people recuperated from the disease in the last 24 hours, pushing the total number of recoveries to 19,94,314, a health department bulletin said. West Bengal now has 1,169 active cases.