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Decision On COVID Vaccination For 5-15 Age Group To Be Taken As Per Experts' Recommendation: Health Minister

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Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Saturday that the central government will roll out COVID-19 vaccination for children in the age group of 5 to 15 years as soon as it receives recommendations to that effect from a group of experts.

Mandaviya told this to reporters when he was asked about the government's approach towards the vaccination for children in the age group of 5 to 15 years.

He said the group of experts has so far not made any recommendation on the vaccination of this category.

The minister was here to take part in a programme organised by the BJP on the Union Budget that was presented on February 1.

"When to vaccinate and to which age group is decided on the basis of recommendation of a group of scientists. We had implemented its recommendation for the precaution group within one week. We will surely implement its recommendation (for 5 to 15 age group) as and when we receive it," he said in a press conference.

The country-wide COVID-19 vaccination of children in 15-18 age group began last month.

"Today, vaccination is not an issue. We have enough vaccines, there is no shortage of doses. We will definitely follow the recommendation of the scientific community," Mandaviya added.

The government has so far not received any such recommendation, and a decision in this regard will be taken in the coming days on that basis. It is not a political decision. Sero survey and sero prevalence survey in July-August last year showed that 67 per cent children also developed anti-bodies, and children remained asymptomatic, he said.

"Ultimately, these are biological things. Therefore, scientists study before making recommendations. Earlier we used to follow the world (for recommendations regarding vaccination). Today, our scientists conduct their own analysis, they have their own study, and make opinions based on this," he said.

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