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BMC plans to vaccinate school kids, seeks data

Headmasters of civic schools told to share vax status of students; move follows discovery of new Omicron strains among children

A teenager receives a vaccine dose, at Nair hospital. File pic

The discovery of Omicron cousins BA.4 and BA.5 among children in Mumbai has prompted the BMC to push for wider vaccination of the younger population. The civic body has asked its schools to share data on the inoculation status of their students. Over 75,000 children in BMC-run schools are eligible for vaccines, civic officials told mid-day. It also plans to cover private schools.

Officials said the headmasters have been told to compile data on the number of students who have got the first dose, the ones that are fully vaccinated and the unvaccinated children. As most schools have reopened, the numbers will help the BMC plan vaccination camps on school premises. 

BMC’s Executive Health Officer Dr Mangala Gomare said around 76,000 children in the age group of 12 to 15 years are eligible for vaccination in BMC schools. “How many of these children have got their vaccinations done during the holidays? This information is being gathered.”

During the camps, the civic body will also tackle vaccine hesitancy. “Those children who are not willing to take the vaccination, their parents will be counselled and told about the importance of the vaccine. This responsibility has been entrusted with the health workers working at the health post,” said Gomare.

The top health officer said vaccination camps will also be held at private schools. “Therefore, information is also being collected about children eligible for vaccination in private schools. A letter has been sent to the Deputy Director of the Education Department for this.”

In Mumbai, the immunisation of adolescents above 15 years started in January and for children aged 12 years in March. So far, over 3.88 lakh teens between 15 and 17 years have received the first dose, while 2.9 lakh adolescents are fully vaccinated. More than 1.25 lakh kids in the age group of 12 to 14 have got the first jab and over 60,000 have taken both doses.

No of children in civic schools who are eligible

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