After Teens Jab, ‘Precaution Dose’ Announcement, Medical Expert Calls For Vaccination Of Kids Above 5 Years


New Delhi: After the Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that teenagers in the 15-18 age group would be eligible for Covid-19 vaccination from January 3, a pediatrician has said children above 5 years of age should be vaccinated against the disease next.

In an address to the nation, PM also said frontline and health workers and senior citizens above the age of 60 with co-morbidities on the advice of doctors would be eligible for a what he termed a “precaution” or third dose from January 10 next year.

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“It is a welcome decision. The next plan should be to vaccinate children above 5 years old. Pediatricians should be allowed to vaccinate these children in their clinics,” Dr Dhiren Gupta, a pediatric pulmonologist at Delhi’s Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, told ANI.

Gupta insisted that five-year-old children also need to get vaccinated against the deadly disease.

“Not only we should target 13 years plus children, but also we should target 5 years old also. That should be our next plan. All pediatricians should be allowed to vaccinate these children in their clinics if we want to expedite the vaccination process,” he added.

Gupta said most of the children from this age group visit pediatric clinics and the process of vaccination can be expedited “rather than limiting it to a few vaccination centers.”

Infact, Gupta went on to mention that the “precaution dose” of the Covid-19 vaccine to healthcare and frontline workers should be given earlier than announced by PM Modi.

“But why wait till January 10. Every day is important in a pandemic. We know that Omicron is increasing at a fast pace. We will get variations of this virus. A booster dose takes approximately three weeks to make sufficient antibodies. The booster vaccination should start within two or three days. Looking at the entire population, we should start it as soon as possible”.

“The decision of precaution dose will strengthen the confidence of healthcare and frontline workers,” he said.

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