New Delhi: Over 12.3 lakh children have been administered COVID-19 vaccine doses across states/UTs till 3 pm on the first day of the inoculation drive of those in the age-group of 15 to 18 years on Monday.

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya visited a Covid vaccination site for children at RML hospital here Monday and interacted with some of the beneficiaries.

Over 39.88 lakh beneficiaries, aged 15 to 18 years, have registered on CoWIN portal till Monday afternoon and over 12.3 lakh children have received COVID-19 vaccine doses so far across the country, according to the portal data at 3 pm.

The process to vaccinate children commenced in the country amid scare of the Omicron variant.

The health minister had on Sunday advised states and Union territories (UTs) to ensure separate vaccination centres, session sites and queue (if at same session where adult vaccination is ongoing) and separate vaccination team (if at same session site) to avoid the mixing-up of COVID-19 vaccines during administration of shots to those in the age-group of 15-18 years.

Stressing on the need to ensure smooth implementation of new vaccination guidelines, Mandaviya, who virtually interacted with state health ministers and principal secretaries/additional chief secretaries of states and UTs, advised them to ensure the orientation of vaccinators and vaccination team members and the identification of dedicated session sites for this category of beneficiaries.

The vaccine option against COVID-19 for children in the age group of 15-18 years would be Covaxin only. All those whose birth year is 2007 or before, shall be eligible, according to the guidelines issued by the Union health ministry recently.

The registration for this category of beneficiaries opened up on Saturday and according to the guidelines they can self-register, or online through an existing account on CoWIN, or can also register by creating a new account through a unique mobile number, this facility is available for all eligible citizens presently.

Such beneficiaries can also be registered onsite by the verifier/vaccinator in facilitated registration mode. Appointments can be booked online or onsite (walk-in), the guidelines added.

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