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Vaccination for kids aged 12-14 likely by March in Bengaluru

Data from the Co-WIN dashboard reveals that 20,67,514 teens in the 15-18 age group have been vaccinated across the state
uraksha P
Last Updated : 21 January 2022, 02:33 IST
Last Updated : 21 January 2022, 02:33 IST
Last Updated : 21 January 2022, 02:33 IST
Last Updated : 21 January 2022, 02:33 IST

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BBMP officials said they will begin jabbing nearly six lakh children in the 12-14 age group in the city once they are done with the 15-18 age group.

The assertion comes after the chief of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) said India might start vaccinating children in the 12-14 age group by March.

Data from the Co-WIN dashboard reveals that 20,67,514 teens in the 15-18 age group have been vaccinated across the state, which is 65% of the targeted 31.75 lakh.

Even in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) limits, 2,26,803 or 51% of the targeted 4.41 lakh teenagers in the 15-18 age group have been vaccinated.

Dr A S Balasundar, BBMP Chief Health Officer (Public Health), told DH that an estimated 5.5 lakh to six lakh children in the 12-14 age group are in the city.

“We will continue to take data from the education department, besides seeking help from NGOs like the Azim Premji Foundation, Karnataka Health Promotion Trust, and Care India to reach out to children who never went to schools,” he said.

“We need help from the women and child development department to locate children who may not be working in construction sites, but maybe playing near such sites where their parents work,” he added.

A challenge for officials is that unlike the 15-18 age group, where they could get data from Industrial Training Institutes and the labour department to reach teens working in industrial parks, they are unlikely to find data for the 12-14 age group children who do not work in such places.

“Labour inspectors are on the lookout for child labour practices in industrial areas and construction sites. We are unlikely to find information on out-of-school 12–14-year-olds with the labour department,” Balasundar said.

Munish Moudgil, head of the state Covid war room, said 43,463 children were found positive out of 7,64,198 tested across the state till January 17, a positivity rate of 5.69%.

At home, in hospital

T S Raghavendra Prasad, co-founder of the non-profit startup StepOne, whose network of doctor volunteers is helping the state government provide teleconsultations to home isolated Covid patients, said the number of hospitalisations among children was fewer compared to home-isolated ones.

Pediatrician Dr Poornima Sripad, who is with StepOne, concurred with the BBMP’s statistics that 11,000 Covid-positive children are home-isolated and only 35 are in city hospitals.

“Parents are a lot less panicky and calmer in this wave compared to the last two waves,” Dr Poornima said.

“But the number of children isolated at home with mild symptoms vastly outnumber the ones hospitalised. Ring immunisation of parents and elderly at home might have helped. Hence, children should definitely get vaccinated when their turn comes,” Dr Poornima added.

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Published 20 January 2022, 22:29 IST

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