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COVID-19: Everything You Need to Know About Vaccination Drive for Age Group 15 to 18

Health authorities across the country have started the vaccination drive for teenagers, falling in the age group of 15-18, against COVID-19. Fuelled by the Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus, a rapid surge in COVID-19 infections is being witnessed in the country. As per the guidelines of the Union Health Ministry, people whose birth year is 2007 or before are eligible to get vaccinated.

How to register for vaccination?

The CoWIN portal for kids’ registration was opened on January 1, and the onsite registration commenced on January 3. Using valid ID cards, children can book a slot on the App. You just have to enter your mobile number and then enter the OTP, following which you’ll be able to book the slot for vaccination. The CoWIN platform chief has stated that besides Aadhaar and other national identity cards, kids can even use their class 10th ID card for registration.

Which vaccine to pick?

Currently, the only vaccine available for kids is Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. The vaccine has been granted approval, for restricted use in an emergency situation, for children between 12 and 18 years. Though Zydus Cadila’s jab was actually the first COVID-19 vaccine to get approved for kids, it is yet to be launched in the country.

It is advised that children should wait at the vaccination centre for 15-30 minutes after getting the jab.

Should side effects worry you?

Dr Vikas Taneja, HOD – Pediatrics at HCMCT Manipal Hospital, in a chat with ETimes, opined that the extreme side effects or reactions from COVID-19 vaccines are rare. He highlighted that kids might experience low-grade fever, body aches for a day or two but it will be self-resolving and just paracetamol would work fine. For recovery, children just need proper rest, a healthy diet and they must be kept hydrated, he added.

However, the doctor mentioned that if the child has a medical history or any family history of facing reaction to any vaccine, parents have to be extra cautious. The medical facility should be updated about the same before the vaccination, he said.

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