New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced that vaccinations for children in the age group of 15 to 18 years will begin from January 3.

The government will administer Precaution Dose of vaccine for healthcare and frontline workers from January 10, he said.

He also announced that vaccines for seniors, at the advice of doctors, will also be opened from January 10th.

He made the announcement during his address to the nation – his first since the outbreak of the new variant of concern Omicron. In his sudden address to the nation tonight, PM Modi reiterated the need to be extremely careful as people prepare to welcome the new year with hope and celebration amid rising cases of the highly contagious Omicron variant.

He said Infections are rising across several nations due to a new variant of Covid – Omicron. In India, there have been a few cases as well, he said.

“I call upon all of you to not panic. Use masks and sanitize yourself regularly. In India, many people have been found to be infected with Omicron. I urge all of you not to panic, be careful and alert.”

Today, he said, the nation has 18 lakh isolation beds, five lakh oxygen-supported beds, 1.4 lakh ICU beds, and 90,000 special beds for kids. “We also have over 3,000 functional PSA Oxygen plants and four lakh cylinders have been provided to all states.”

The experience of fighting the global epidemic so far shows that following all the guidelines at the individual level is a great weapon to combat the virus, he said. “And the second weapon is vaccination.”

Apart from research on the vaccine, he said “we were also working on approval processes, supply chains, distribution, training, IT support system and certification.”

“With these efforts, India started vaccinating its citizens on January 16.”

 

 

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