By: Afaq Bhat
Srinagar: Children will have to wait till 2022 to get COVID-19 jabs as the Health Ministry wants to provide the first dose of vaccinations to 100% adult population by this year end.
An observer while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “The schools in Kashmir region have been closed for almost two years now. People are eagerly waiting for children to get vaccinated so that they could resume their normal lives.”
He said that as winter is approaching it appears that there is no possibility about schools being reopened before March next year.
Chairperson of Covid-19 working group of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI), Dr N K Arora, while talking to a wire agency said that four vaccines are coming up before the end of 2021 which will contribute to children immunisation against the viral disease.
The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) under India’s drug regulatory body has recommended Covaxin for children between 2 to 18 years of age. However, it is yet to be approved by the drug control authority.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had recently stated that that a technical committee has approved Covaxin for Children while it is being analysed further by other committees.
A medico said that in many J&K districts 100% adult population has been provided with the first dose of COVID-19 vaccines. “During the past two years the behavior of COVID-19 has been unpredictable. But one thing has been there that children have fought the virus in a better way. Children need a vaccines shot to return to schools but the schooling can resume once the adult population is covered,” he added.
A principal of a private school in Srinagar said, “We can understand that the vaccines are important and it may take some time for children to get the shield. But the need of the hour is to start the process to send children back to schools. The parents need to be assured that schools will start by March and children too will get a chance to return to their normal lives.”
He said, “In rural areas students are attending community classes but in urban Kashmir nothing has started. The government needs to frame a strategy for the children who have got confined within the four walls of their homes. Online mode of education has helped but it’s no substitute to the offline classes.”