Hyderabad, Jan 3 (IANS) Children aged between 15 and 18 years in both the Telugu states on Monday started receiving Covid-19 vaccine.
In Telangana, about 15 lakh children are eligible to get the jab while the number of children in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh is 24 lakh.
Health authorities in both the states made elaborate arrangements for administering the vaccine to the targeted group.
Telangana Health Minister T. Harish Rao launched the vaccination drive in Hyderabad.
Health officials in Telangana set up 1,014 centres in primary health centres, community health centres and government-run hospitals to give the vaccine to the teenagers. In Andhra Pradesh, authorities made arrangements for vaccination at village and ward secretariats.
The officials ensured the presence of doctors at vaccinations centres as a precautionary measure to handle any case of side-effects. No such case was reported from anywhere till 2 p.m.
All the eligible children are being administered Covaxin. The second dose will be given after four weeks.
Harish Rao appealed to parents and teachers at colleges to encourage children to take the vaccine. Stating that the vaccine offers the best protection from the infection, he said principals and teachers of all colleges should take special interest to make the programme successful.
The minister appealed to people to adhere to all Covid-19 safety guidelines in view of the increasing number of Covid cases and the fast spreading new variant Omicron.
Harish Rao said the people need to follow all the precautions as Covid positivity rate in the country and in the state has increased four times during the last one week.
The minister said Telangana has already achieved 100 per cent vaccination of first dose and is ahead of several states in second dose vaccination. He urged people who are due for a second dose to come forward and take the same.
He said the booster dose for those aged above 60 years and the frontline workers will be administered from January 10.
Telangana's director of public health Dr G. Srinivasa Rao said in Hyderabad and 11 other municipal corporations vaccines are being given to those who have registered on Cowin Portal. The step has been taken to avoid gatherings at vaccination centres. However, the rest of the state authorities were allowing walk-ins.