Vaccine for 15+, booster doses for health workers, elderly: Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation at 9.45 pm on December 26 for more than 13 minutes talking about Omicron and how to face it on Christmas and the birth anniversary of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, India’s former Prime Minister.
The PM announced the Covid-19 vaccine for children between the age group of 15 to 18 years from January 3, 2022. In the surprise address whose information was splashed a few minutes before the event by the media, the PM said senior citizens with comorbidities will receive booster doses from January 10, 2022.
Also the PM said precautionary doses will be given to healthcare and frontline workers from 10 January.
Praising the scientific community for its relentless effort in the fight against the pandemic, the PM said: “Our scientific community carefully decided every detail of the vaccine, when to take which doses etc. Now the scientific community has arrived at some crucial decisions which I would like to share with you on the auspicious occasion of Christmas and also the birth anniversary of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.”
For those above 60 years with comorbidities, precaution doses will also be given from 10 January, said Modi.
Modi assured citizens that all possible preparations are in order to tackle increasing infections.
“Covid-19 isn’t past us yet. Being careful is very important. Today, the nation has 18 lakh isolation beds, 5 lakh oxygen-supported beds, 1.4 lakh ICU beds, and 90,000 special beds for children. Today, we have over 3,000 functional PSA Oxygen plants and four lakh oxygen cylinders have been provided to all States,” he said.
The PM exhorted Indians to follow Covid appropriate behaviour. “In India, many people have been found to be infected with Omicron. I would urge all of you not to panic, be careful and alert. Wear the mask and wash hands regularly,” he said.
The PM said: “The experience of fighting the coronavirus global epidemic so far shows that following all the guidelines at the individual level is a great weapon to combat corona. And the second weapon is vaccination.”
India reported 7,189 new Covid cases in the past 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry. Meanwhile, the nationwide case tally of the Omicron variant of coronavirus reached 415.