India presently has no plans to vaccinate children under the age of 15, a government official said here on Monday, citing a risk profile that the administration reviewed before permitting the 15-18 age group to become eligible from next month. In light of the new threat posed by the highly resistant and transmissible Omicron variant, several countries are inoculating younger children, some as young as five, and there have been increasing requests to broaden the universal coronavirus vaccination.
‘Our decision is purely based on scientific data that demonstrates that the virus has no significant impact on children anywhere in the world,’ said the official, asking not to be named. ‘ At first, we thought that vaccination should only be allowed for adults, but we realised that these young adults (between the age 15 to 18) were going to school or college or travelling around, and so could be carriers of the virus’.
India’s decision was also based on the serological survey conducted in July. It showed that 67.6% of the population had exposure to virus, which also had a significant number of children,” said the official.