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Teenagers between 15-18 years to get Covid jab in schools

The vaccination drive for this age group will start from January 3
Representational image.
Representational image.
File photo

Binita Paul   |   Siliguri   |   Published 31.12.21, 02:34 AM

The Bengal health department has decided to vaccinate teenagers between 15-18 years against Covid-19 in their own schools amid rising cases linked to the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The vaccination drive for this age group will start from January 3.

“Preparations are underway to administer the jab to students in schools. We are trying our best to ensure that they do not have to go to other centres,” said a source.
In the Darjeeling hills, most of the schools are closed for a three-month winter vacation. Schools in the rest of the state, apart from the hills, are open.

S. Poonambalam, district magistrate, Darjeeling, however, said: “Students or their parents would be informed about the vaccination (details like date and time).”
In case of dropouts, including those who may have left home for work as migrant labour, efforts will be made to administer the vaccine in any of the centres.
“However, vaccinating the students in schools would be convenient and the entire process would be much smoother,” said a source.

On an average, each north Bengal district has anywhere between 200 to 260 high schools. The population of this specific age group of students range from 1 lakh to 1.9 lakh in each district. Hence, north Bengal has more than 4.5 lakh eligible teenagers in the targeted age group.

“The students will be vaccinated with Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin only,” sources said.

Apart from teenagers in this age group, healthcare workers and frontline workers, who have received two doses, and also persons aged 60 years and above who have comorbidities and who have received the two does of the vaccine, will on doctor’s advice be provided with a precaution dose (booster) of Covid-19 vaccine from January 10.
A booster dose can be given nine months from the date of administering the second dose.

Sources said around five lakh frontline workers, over seven lakh healthcare workers and 1.1 crore senior citizens are eligible for this booster shot in Bengal .



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