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PM's Address to the Nation: India to start vaccinating children aged 15-18 from January 3

Prime Minister Modi also announced precautionary dosage for healthcare and frontline workers from January 10. Ctizens above 60 years of age with co-morbidities will also have the option of a precautionary dose of the vaccine from January 10 on the advice of their doctor. 

PM Address to Nation: India to start vaccinating children aged 15-18 from January 3
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New Delhi, First Published Dec 25, 2021, 10:01 PM IST
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India will vaccinate children, aged between 15 years to 18 years, from January 3, 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Saturday. Addressing the nation, during which he urged the citizens to remain vigilant against the Omicron variant but not to panic, Prime Minister Modi also announced precautionary dosage for healthcare and frontline workers from January 10.

The Prime Minister also made a third major announcement. He said that citizens above 60 years of age with co-morbidities will also have the option of a precautionary dose of the vaccine from January 10 on the advice of their doctor. 

Listing the pattern of India's vaccination drive, the Prime Minister informed that the number of vaccine doses administered had crossed the mark of 141 crore doses since the campaign began on January 16 this year. For this, PM Modi credited the collective efforts of frontline workers, doctors, citizens and scientists. 

Asserting that the seriousness of vaccine was identified very early and along with research on vaccine, Prime Minister Modi said that work was focussed upon the approval process, building a supply chain, ensuring distribution, providing training and building an IT support system and certification. This, he said, had ensured that 61 per cent of the adult population of the country received both the vaccines and 90 per cent of eligible citizens receiving their one dose.

Reiterating that this was the time to stay alert, Prime Minister Modi warned that Omicron cases are rising across many countries around the world. "In India today, the number of cases is rising. Don't panic, but remain vigilant. Use a mask and keep washing your hands regularly," he said.

"As the virus is mutating, our resolve is multiplying. Our innovative spirit is also multiplying. We have 5 lakh oxygen-supported beds, 1.4 Lakh ICU beds," he said, adding, "Our experience with fighting the coronavirus global epidemic so far has shown us that following guidelines at the individual level is a great weapon to combat the virus. And the second weapon is vaccination." 

While cautioning people against efforts to spread rumours, confusion and fear with regard to the new virus variant, the Prime Minister assured that the country would soon develop a nasal vaccine and the world's first DNA vaccine. He reiterated that India’s fight against Coronavirus has, from the very beginning, been based on scientific principles, scientific consultation and the scientific method. 

The Prime Minister further said that the 11-month-long vaccination campaign had brought some amount of normalcy to the everyday lives of the people across the country. He said that economic activities had been encouraging compared to many countries of the world. However, the Prime Minister re-emphasised that alertness was of paramount importance considering that the Coronavirus had not gone yet.

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