The nature of a vaccine is to mutate frequently, and that is what happened with the novel coronavirus. Within the last two years, we have witnessed a number of variants of this deadly virus coming up in different countries. While some of them came out to be highly infectious, some proved otherwise.
Children have shown a robust immune response to this virus since the beginning. But, amid the Omicron (B.1.1.529) threat, things could be changing. At a time when children are getting prepared for their yearly final exams, the scare of the third wave is making parents more anxious than ever.
And, when it comes to children, it is better to get some of our facts in check and prepare ourselves for anything suspicious.
With a rise in Omicron cases in the country and worldwide, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the Covid-19 vaccination drive for children aged between 15 and 18 starting January 3, 2022.
Even though children have shown stronger immune responses against Covid-19 infection so far, experts believe it might not be the case with the Omicron variant. In the light of Omicron’s transmissibility, children have shown mild symptoms as compared to adults. But, a clear picture is yet to come.
Since many children aged 15 to 18 have their final exams on the way, the vaccination drive is a relief to both children and parents amidst the Omicron scare. The vaccination will help children in schools and colleges to attend their classes offline as they have greatly suffered since the outbreak due to the closure of academic institutions.
As informed by the CoWIN platform chief, children will have to register on the CoWIN portal starting January 1, 2022, for Covid-19 vaccine jabs. Children can use their Class 10th ID card or Aadhaar card for registration as some children may not have Aadhaar or other identity documents.
Children aged 15-18 who are born in 2007 and before are required to register themselves on the CoWIN portal. If you have an existing CoWIN account, you can self-register or create a new account using a valid mobile number. The steps to register on the CoWIN app and the website are below.
Step-1: Download and install the CoWIN application on your mobile phone.
Step-2: Register with your valid mobile number.
Step-3: Enter the OTP (One Time Password) you received after entering your mobile number and verify.
Step-4: Once the number is verified, a registration page will appear, and you will have to enter your personal details, including name, gender, age, birth date, etc., along with a photo ID. This photo ID you will enter will be used for verification at the vaccination centre.
Step-5: Once you have filled in all the necessary blanks, click on the register button.
Step-6: After registering on the portal, you can schedule the appointment by selecting the nearest vaccination centre and the available date.
Step-7: Finally, click on Book appointment to successfully book your Covid-19 vaccine appointment.
Step-1: Visit the CoWIN website: www.cowin.gov.in.
Step-2: On the very top right side of the page, you will find a tab: Register/Sign in. Click on it.
Step-3: After clicking on that tab, you will be directed to a new page for registration.
Step-4: Register with your valid mobile number.
Step-5: Enter the OTP (One Time Password) you received after entering your mobile number and verify.
Step-6: Once the number is verified, a registration page will appear, and you will have to enter your personal details, including name, gender, age, birth date, etc., along with a photo ID. This photo ID you will enter will be used for verification at the vaccination centre.
Step-7: Once you have filled in all the necessary blanks, click on the register button.
Step-8: After registering on the portal, you can schedule the appointment by selecting the nearest vaccination centre and the available date.
Step-9: Finally, click on Book appointment to successfully book your Covid-19 vaccine appointment.
It is expected that children will be required to follow Covaxin’s two-dose regimen to build up the immune response against the SARS-COV-2 and its variants. The second dose is believed to be delivered after a gap of 28 days.
According to the WHO, children are less likely to develop the Covid-19 infection, but they can act as carriers for the novel coronavirus if not vaccinated. This can put vulnerable citizens with comorbidities at risk. Parents need not panic but at the same time, it is advised to act responsibly. The use of masks, sanitization, hand washing, and social distancing should not be compromised. And they must seek medical help as soon as the symptoms of the virus surface.
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approved the emergency use of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for children between 12 to 18. It is the second vaccine approved for emergency use after the approval of Zydus Healthcare’s ZyCoV-D vaccine for children between 12 and 18.
However, from January 3, 2022, the country will administer only Covaxin to children between 15 to 18.
Yes, Covaxin is the only vaccine available for children aged 15-18 in India at the moment. Even though Zydus Healthcare’s ZyCoV-D vaccine has been approved for emergency use for children aged 12-18, it is yet to be introduced in India’s inoculation program.
Covaxin has demonstrated effective results and antibody protection in children during the trials. Hence, it has been granted emergency use authorization by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).
Covaxin has proved to provide good efficacy in adults against the original novel coronavirus and its subsequent variants. But it is still uncertain to prove the efficacy of Covid vaccines in children against Omicron at this point of time.
No adverse side effects of the vaccine have been recorded during testing on kids. However, common side effects such as drowsiness, fever, fatigue, pain at the inoculated site, and body pain can be expected to go away in 2-3 days. Children who are sensitive or have a not-so-good reaction to prior vaccines may require extra care.
Seasonal changes are likely to bring cases of cough and cold among children. But it is important for parents not to panic and confuse common cold cases with Covid-19 infection. The best parents can do is take the best precautionary measures by avoiding crowded spaces and wearing masks. If your child experiences any such symptoms that look similar to Covid-19 infection, consult your child’s doctor before resorting to any other treatment.
This post was last modified on February 1, 2022 5:57 pm
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