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Government announced child vaccination, but unclear on booster doses

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vaccination, vaccine, children, narendra modi, pm modi, pm narendra modi, booster dose, booster

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced vaccination for children from the age group of 15 years to 18 years but these children are mostly from High school and Junior college. The prime minister also said precautionary doses will be given to healthcare and frontline workers from 10 January. For those above 60 years with comorbidities, precaution doses too will be given from 10 January.

The government claims almost 85 to 90% of vaccination in Maharashtra is done but still Tribal areas of Maharashtra and India are yet to be vaccinated. There is fear of vaccination among these tribes because the government campaigns have failed to convince them about the importance of the same. Palghar district, Murbad village’s tribal communities are not given vaccination so far. Government must convey vaccination messages in their local language so that they can understand the urgency of vaccination.

At 4-6 years of age, children in Britain USA already started receiving vaccines to protect them from COVID related diseases. When the world is going ahead injecting children India has no guidelines, are we lagging behind economically or we are not ready to take this additional burden at this hour? India is a densely populated country so WHO should set doctrines for vaccination.

Amid the Omicron scare and surge in cases in various parts of the country, the Union Health Ministry on Saturday said that multi-disciplinary Central teams would be deployed in ten identified states.

“A decision has been taken to deploy multi-disciplinary Central teams to 10 identified States some of which are either reporting an increasing number of Omicron and COVID-19 cases or slow vaccination pace,” says the Union Health Ministry in an official statement. According to the order issued by the ministry on Friday, these states are Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Mizoram, Karnataka, Bihar and Jharkhand. Also on the list are Punjab and Uttar Pradesh — both are due to hold Assembly elections next year.

The Center’s teams will be deployed for five days, during which time they will work with state health authorities on improving testing and surveillance and enforcing COVID-appropriate behaviour. As per the Ministry, these teams will specifically look at areas of contact tracing, including surveillance, containment operations and COVID-19 testing including sending of adequate samples from clusters to the INSACOG network for genome sequencing.

The government has also announced booster doses but which vaccine they are going to use as the booster dose is not clarified, Covaxin or Covishield or Moderna Pfizer? People too are not obeying the COVID rules by wearing masks and social distancing. There is no deterrence in them, so how is the government going to address these basic issues?

Dr Deepak Sawant, former Minister of Public Health and Family Welfare said, “Vaccination may not be sufficient to fight against new variants because of repeated mutations in spike protein. We have to observe corona attributed behaviour. Watch for double mutant and P.1 Brazil virus.”

Dr Abhilash said, “Maybe we are lacking with infrastructure or finance, when the world is done with vaccines for children we have started now, meanwhile no clarity on this subject. Above all the booster dose are another trial and error because which vaccine would be used and availability of the same is a big question mark.”

Dr Nita M Jagad, a Pediatrician said, “When you say vaccine, any vaccine is good to take because it prevents the disease. Vaccines are medicines and every medicine comes with its own side effects, when you take any vaccine, the benefits have to be weighed against the risks of any side effects, so these vaccines are good to take, also take proper precautions.”

Dr Jagad further said, “If any symptoms occur in 24 to 48 hours after taking the vaccine they should immediately go to the doctor, definitely should take the vaccine and proper precautions post-vaccination should be taken care of.”

“Definitely, Children’s should take the vaccination, the government is doing something and proper research has been done on the vaccination. He also said Other countries have already started with the children’s vaccines so definitely India should start too,” Dr Keval Shah, a Pediatrician from Mumbai said.

Dr Camy Shah, Children specialist said, “Children should be vaccinated, especially the ones who are immune or had a prolonged disease they should be the one targeted first for taking the vaccine as soon as possible because they are the ones at more risk of getting infected and also spreading to others, so it should be taken into consideration and children should definitely get vaccinated. 

Dr Tatyarao Lahane, the Director of Haffkine said, “This is a right move and should be taken positively. There is no negative side to this immunization program. We all very well know that there is no infection due to this dose. Nor it has any side effects as such. The disease gets mild and preventively cures it by diagnose. Even the educational institutions will be confident as they have vaccinated pupils. Students and parents will also feel confident.”

Dr Preeti Doshi, an Academician said, “The dose jab is required for 15-20 academic classes. Many academies have already started their syllabus. To be on the safer side, prevention is better than cure and even there are no side effects. So, at a young age if you are protected, then you are anti to disease.”

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