India plans to start administering vaccines on children soon. Currently, the country is administering Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V to its adult population. The Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on 27 July said the Covid-19 vaccine for children is expected to be launched in the country from August. Mandaviya gave the information at the BJP Parliamentary party meeting, which was also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Noting that Covid vaccines availability for children would be a milestone achievement, AIIMS Chief, Dr Randeep Guleria believes that it would pave the way for the reopening of schools and the resumption of outdoor activities for them. In India, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Zydus Cadila’s ZyCoV-D vaccine candidate are in the trial phase.
The first trial was started in the age group of 12 to 18 years followed by the age group of 6 to 12 while trials for children between the age of 2-6 years are currently underway. Zydus Cadila’s ZyCoV-D vaccine will be a three-dose vaccine shot and if approved it will be the world’s first plasmid DNA vaccine.
Giving more details about vaccination for children, the Joint Secretary in Health Ministry, Lav Agarwal, has said that both Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Zydus Cadila’s DNA vaccines are being primarily looked into for 12-18 years of age. The World Health Organization has said that clinical trials in children need to pass rigorous ethical evaluations and meet certain standards before being allowed to be administered on children.