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AHMEDABAD: India started administering on Wednesday doses of COVID-19 vaccine to young people aged between 12 and 14 as public and private schools re-opened.

The government aims to swiftly expand vaccine coverage by also dropping a restriction on booster doses for those older than 60 only if they had a co-morbidity condition.

“Today is an important day in India’s efforts to vaccinate our citizens,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter, adding that those aged 12 to 14 were eligible for vaccines.

The children, estimated by the government to number 50 million, will receive the Corbevax vaccine, made by Biological E, a domestic firm that secured emergency approval for its use in children.

Wednesday 2,876 new infections took India’s tally of COVID-19 cases to 42,998,938, while the number of active cases dipped to 32,811, the health ministry said. The death toll stood at 516,072.

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