Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcements for a “precautionary dose” for healthcare and frontline workers as well as co-morbid seniors and vaccination for adolescents between 15-18 years of age will strengthen the confidence of people and stop any panic, government sources say.
“Youngsters of 15-18 age group to get vaccine and this will aid education,” a government source said after Bharat Biotech also got Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for giving Covaxin to children between 12 and 18 years of age. With schools and colleges opening, there was a demand to begin vaccination for children.
A source said India had also charted a separate way with the prime minister announcing a “precaution dose” for frontline workers, healthcare workers and senior citizens with co-morbdities. The prime minister did not call it a “booster dose” as the third dose is termed world-wide. All these people had got their second dose of vaccine nearly 5-6 months ago and there was a concern that their immunity levels may have waned now given the interval.
“This will strengthen confidence of healthcare and frontline workers. The prime minister has also cautioned the public on Omicron, telling them that there is no need for panic but all precautions must be followed by them,” the source said.
He also used the occasion to give an overview of healthcare infrastructure in the nation to the people, explaining the nature of infrastructure on terms of hospital beds and oxygen plants, in a move aimed at easing the concerns of some in case Omicron spreads in India like it has globally.