The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday said that clinical trials on children are underway for some of our vaccines including Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and Zydus Cadila's another vaccine. Earlier this month the the Centre had told the Delhi High Court that Zydus Cadila's COVID-19 vaccine may be available in the near future for children in the age group of 12 to 18 years, however there has been no specific date announced yet.
Lav Agarwal, Jointt Secretary, Health Ministry while addressing the media said that as soon as the Centre gets robust enough results of these trials, it'll decide on vaccination for children, based on expert decision.
Nearly two weeks ago, the Centre had informed that Zydus Cadila has concluded its trial for children between the age group of 12 to 18 and is subject to statutory permissions. The Ahmedabad-based pharmaceutical firm had on July 1, requested emergency use approval for ZyCoV-D, its three-dose Covid shot - the world's first Plasmid DNA vaccine.
On May 12, 2021, the Drug Controller General of India permitted Bharat Biotech to conduct clinical trials on healthy volunteers between 2 to 18 years of age, for its vaccine - Covaxin.
The second dose of Covaxin for children aged 2-6 years was likely to be administered to those participating in the trials this week.
The second dose of Covaxin has already been given to children between aged 6-12 years, said sources, at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi, which is one of the centres for trials of the vaccine for those below 18 years.
Trials for covid vaccine for children are underway in India ahead of an anticipated third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, today, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya in a BJP Parliamentary Party meeting said the government is likely to start vaccinating children against Covid-19 by next month. He also said that India is on course to become the largest vaccine producing country as more companies will get production licences.
Mandaviya's statement comes at a time when there are concerns over the impact on kids of a possible third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
Previously, experts, including AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria projected a timeline of September by which a vaccine would be available for children. According to Dr Guleria, data from clinical trials of Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech's Covaxin on children is likely to be available in September and, if found safe, the shot could be approved for kids the same month.COVID-19 vaccine trial: Second dose of Covaxin to kids aged 2-6 years to be given next week
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)