“As scientific evidence evolves, we will be expanding the coverage of vaccination to this age group. We will take decision on the basis of scientific data in this regard,” he said while addressing the media on the current Covid surge in India.
NITI Aayog’s Member, Health, Dr V.K. Paul said that vaccinating this age bracket is an important objective. “We will take decision on this when we will have compete scientific evidence,” he said.
About the Subject Expert Committee of the Central Drug Standard and Control Organisation (CDSCO) recommendation to provide market approval for two vaccines Covishield and Covaxin, Bhushan said that the recommendation has been made to the national regulator, the Drug Controller General of India, but, it is yet to take the final decision.
He said that of the frontline workers who were due for their precautionary dose, 58 per cent of them have received it, and of the healthcare workers who were due, 63 per cent of them have received the vaccine as on January 20. “Out of total around 80 lakh due for precaution dose among 60 plus age group as on January 20, total 18,66,000 have received their dose which is around 39 per cent,” he added.
Bhushan also said that 52 per cent children in 15-18 age group in the country have been vaccinated so far.
On active cases, he said Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, UP, Gujarat, Odisha, Delhi, and Rajasthan are among the top 10 states, and of them, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh are among the ‘States of Concern’ and the situation is being reviewed continuously.
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