India will launch the vaccination of young people aged 15 and over on January 3 to face the challenge posed to the country by the Omicron variant, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Saturday.
“Omicron is buzzing about right now,” Modi said in a nationwide speech. “After having analyzed the international situation and our vaccination campaign of the last eleven months against Covid-19, our scientists have today taken crucial decisions”.
“We have to be careful and be careful,” he added, announcing that vaccines would be available for young people aged 15 and over from January 3.
Caregivers and people aged 60 and over will also be able to receive “a precautionary dose” a week later, he said. “We understood very early on the importance of vaccination, which is why more than 61% of adults were able to receive two doses and 90% at least one dose”, argued the Prime Minister.
More than 200,000 people have died in India in a deadly Covid wave between April and June that overwhelmed hospitals and crematoriums. The wave hit after one of the world’s largest religious gatherings, the Kumbh Mela, which drew around 25 million pilgrims.
In absolute terms, India comes in third place (with 478,133 deaths) among the countries that have recorded the most deaths after the United States (815,423) and Brazil (618,228).