As many as 11,008 children in the age group of 15-18 years were vaccinated in the district on the first day of paediatric vaccination on Monday.
Of the 1.61 lakh children in the age group, the district administration had planned to cover 16,000 on the first day at 83 schools. Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) workers of the health department visited schools, government hospitals and public health facilities where people walked in with their children for vaccination.
Vaccination of children evoked mixed response from parents, a school education department official said. While some were keen on vaccinating children given the new Omicron variant and believed that vaccination will keep children safe from viruses, others were apprehensive.
S Rangasamy, 45, of Karamadai said he wanted to wait for some more days to see the response of the vaccine before getting his 15-year-old daughter vaccinated. Though he is fully vaccinated, after some of his relatives developed post-vaccination fever, he is apprehensive.
Chief educational officer N Geetha said some students were left out of the vaccination drive on Monday after their parents objected. “As it was the first day, we were expecting such issues. We will persuade apprehensive parents after most of the students are vaccinated,” she told.
Dr S Seralathan, chief medical officer of the government hospital in Periyanaikenpalayam, said the first day’s drive evinced a lukewarm response. The GH was one among the many walk-in vaccination centres for the 15-18 age group.
“Some parents demanded Covishield instead of Covaxin for their ward. But the government has mandated only Covaxin for paediatric vaccination. Parents had the perception that their wards may not be able to travel overseas if they take Covaxin.”
A senior health official expressed hope that vaccination for children would be completed before January 10 as a booster dose for the frontline workers would begin on that day.
It would be challenging to manage resources by having dedicated counters for paediatric vaccination and vaccinating those who need to be administered the third dose. Parents should make their ward get vaccinated as it safeguards them from disease.
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