Covid-19 vaccination for kids: Guidelines out next week, Zydus shot to be administered in first phase

Bharat Biotech is evaluating immunogenicity, reactogenicity and safety of Covaxin on healthy volunteers belonging above the age of 2 years at six places. (Representative Image_

Covid-19 vaccination for children will start soon. The government is preparing guidelines for vaccination below the age of 18 years against coronavirus and the announcement is expected to come by the end of next week, a government source said. Moreover, 70 per cent of the population has already received atleast one jab of Covid-19 vaccination.

Talking to Indian Express, the source who is a part of scientific deliberations informed that the decision of how vaccination to children will be phased or categories of children will be prioritized will be taken in the first half of the month. The results for Bharat Biotech’ clinical trial of Covaxin on children is also expected to be submitted to the Drug Controller General of India for emergency use approval “around October 20-21.”

Covid-19 standing committee of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) will submit its scientific recommendations on the vaccine rollout for children to the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVEC) in the next few days.

NEGVEC, chaired by Dr V K Paul, head of India’s Covid-19 task force, and co-chaired by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan will then make a decision on how to prioritize categories of children for administering Zydus Cadila’s three-dose ZyCoV-D DNA vaccine that has already received nod for recipients above age 12 years. The vaccine will be used in the first phase, sources informed.

Meanwhile, NTAGI , India’s top advisory body in immunization is studying the size of the vulnerable group and has examined scientific data on comorbidities among children. Once recommendations from NTAGI comes NEGVEC will make the final guidelines for vaccine rollout.

Bharat Biotech is evaluating immunogenicity, reactogenicity and safety of Covaxin on healthy volunteers belonging above the age of 2 years at six places. The phase 2-3 paediatric results will arrive a week after NEGVEC comes up with the guidelines.

Another nano-particle protein based vaccine , Covovax, will also undergo trials at 23 sites across the country on children . The vaccine is India’s version of US-based Novovax and will be manufactured by the Serum Institute of India. Biological E-s Corbevax trials for children will also start at 10 sites any time soon

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