Amid growing concerns about the availability of a Covid-19 vaccine for children, chief virologist Dr Gagandeep Kang said that vaccinating children against the coronavirus is not urgently required because vaccine trials are still ongoing and immunogenicity data is pending.
Only provisional data has been submitted for approval to the Controller General of Drugs of India (DCGI) for all vaccines against coronavirus. Therefore, he can wait for vaccinations in children, Kang said in an exclusive conversation with India Today.
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An expert panel from the Central Medicines Authority of India has recommended that Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) be granted to Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for children and adolescents in the age group 2-18 years with certain conditions. If approved by DCGI, it will be the second vaccine after ZyCoV-D to obtain an EUA for use among those under 18 years of age. The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) is looking at how to put ZyCov-D to optimal use.
Children will be given two doses of Covaxin with a gap of 28 days between the first and second doses. The dose of the vaccine for children will be 0.5 ml, which is the same as the dose for adults. The Securities and Exchange Commission recommended that the company continue the study in accordance with approved protocols. The committee also asked the company to provide safety data, which also includes data on adverse events, or side effects every two weeks for the first two months and monthly thereafter.
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Kang said it was not yet known how children would react to the vaccines because her trial did not include children with co-morbidities. “We need to wait and try to develop a vaccine for children that can provide protection against new variants instead of vaccinating them now,” India today quoted her as saying, noting that children had already been exposed to Covid-19 delta. alternative.
Kang said vaccines developed using mRNA technology could be an option for children with co-morbidities because such vaccines produce the most effective antibody. It added that vaccinating children with Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, an inactivated vaccine, would also be safe for them.
Speaking to India today about the overall situation of Covid-19 in the country, Kang said that the coronavirus epidemic has become “pandemic” in India and if the third wave comes, it will be in the form of small local outbreaks where the population is located. Not yet exposed.
On Sunday, the head of the Covid task force at K Paul said the government would make a final decision on vaccinating children and adolescents against the coronavirus based on general scientific rationale as well as the status of the supply of vaccines available to those under the age of 18.
Paul, who has been playing a major role in the government’s efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic, also warned that although infections have fallen and the second wave has fallen, it would now not be fair to say the worst is over. Since many countries have experienced more than two waves.
Currently, there are three vaccines – Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V – that are given in the country only to those over 18 years of age.