As the state stands on the threshold of a ‘third wave’ of Covid-19, lakhs of school and junior college children in the 15-18 age enthusiastically thronged vaccination centres to get their jabs in Mumbai and rest of Maharashtra, officials said here on Monday.
As per the Centre’s policy, the government launched the inoculation drive for the 15-18 age groups and over 8,00,000 have already registered for their dose in the past few days.
Since dawn, the children, many sporting their school uniforms, lugging school bags, clutching their I-cards and other necessary documents, made a beeline at the vaccination centres in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur and other cities, towns and villages.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray exhorted children to go for their doses, while at many centres there were VIPs waiting to welcome the kids, like Health Minister Rajesh Tope in Jalna, Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray and Mayor Kishori Pednekar in Mumbai, other ministers in other districts, parliamentarians or legislators in different areas.
Some big schools in the urban centres have decided to arrange the vaccination drive at their own campuses to ensure all the children in the 15-18 age group are covered.
At several centres, excited and giggling young boys and girls arrived either with their families or neighbours or friends, eagerly awaiting the experience of a Covid-19 dose, and they urged their reluctant pals or classmates to join them.
“There is apprehension among us as the Covid-19 and Omicron cases have suddenly increased… We all have taken our parents’ and teachers’ advice to register and take the precautionary jab when called,” said Manthan Joshi, an SSC student of Gokhale High School in Borivali.
In Mumbai, the doses are being administered at the 9 Jumbo vaccination centres across the city and suburbs. They are the Richardson & Cruddas, Byculla and Mulund, Somaiya Grounds, Sion, NSCI Dome, Crompton & Greaves, Kanjurmarg, Worli, NESCO Centre Goregaon, Malad Centre, Malad, and Dahisar Centre, Dahisar.