Bengaluru: Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has asked all district in-charge ministers and Deputy Commissioners to coordinate for the launch of the Covid 19 vaccines for children in the age group of 15 to 18 from January 3.
The government has identified 31 lakh beneficiaries in the 15 to 18 age group for the first dose of vaccination and 12 lakh elderly people above the age of 60 years with comorbidities across the state for a booster dose.
Sources in the health department stated that to date, the state government has vaccinated 76 percent of the targeted population against Covid.
Though jabbing 100 percent of beneficiaries still remains a top priority, the vaccination drive for 15 to 18 years will also be focused on as this age segment has not received a single shot of the Covid vaccine.
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The initiative will be taken with missionary zeal in the wake of fears of the Omicron variant and the third wave of Covid. The health department officials maintained that the number of elders might be more and they will also be covered when the special drive is taken up.
Health officials revealed that the age group of 19-50 years accounts for more infections as they are required to move out from the houses.
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) authorities are taking up all required preparations for the mega exercise of vaccination of about five lakh children in the 15 to 18 age group in Bengaluru alone. The vaccination exercise will start on January 3.
The authorities have collected zone-wise data of children studying in private as well as government schools and colleges in the city. The authorities are ready with the required strength of staff to be deputed to schools and colleges to ensure vaccination of the school and college children.
The BBMP is also planning to cover children who are not in the stream of education. NGO’s help is being taken to identify children in this age group in slums and industrial areas.
Along with this, the BBMP is also gearing up to administer booster doses to frontline workers and health staff who are identified as Covid warriors from January 10, according to sources.
BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta has directed the authorities to give more importance to contact tracing to contain the infection. The healthcare workers have been entrusted with the work of visiting the infection-prone areas and ensuring preventive measures.
(With inputs from IANS)