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India

COVID-19 Vaccine For Kids Will Be Key in Reopening Schools, Outdoor Activities: Randeep Guleria

Guleria said that the Phase 2 and Phase 3 trial results of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin were expected by September following which the data could be sent to the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for approval.

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A medical worker screening a children in Delhi (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria on Sunday (June 27) said that it will be a milestone for India if it is able to provide its children with COVID-19 vaccines which will help in reporting schools and allow them to mingle in outdoor activities. Guleria said that the Phase 2 and Phase 3 trial results of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin were expected by September following which the data could be sent to the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for approval.

“If the Pfizer vaccine gets approval before that, then it can also be an option for children,” Dr Guleria told PTI on Saturday.

Furthermore, a vaccine candidate by Zydus Cadila is also in the running as the company claims that the vaccine can be given to both adults and children.

Cadila’s vaccine is also the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine.

“So, if the Zydus vaccine gets approval, it will be another option,” Dr Guleria said.

He said that the pandemic had a=halted schools and had greatly affected children’s studies for the past one and a half years.

Vaccination is the way out from the pandemic, he said.

The government has already cautioned that though the virus is not affecting children greatly, it could change its behaviour if a significant chunk of the elder population is vaccinated.

NITI Aayog member (Health) Dr V K Paul recently said, “Child cohort is not a small one. My rough guess is that if it is between 12 to 18 years, this itself is about 13 to 14 crore population for which we will need about 25-26 crore doses.

He also said that currently, only two manufacturers in India were involved in the development of vaccines for children.

So when Zydus comes for licensure soon, maybe we have enough data to take a view on whether the vaccine can be given in children,” Paul said.

With inputs from PTI