Covaxin likely to be approved for children by Sept: Dr Randeep Guleria
All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) director Dr Randeep Guleria has said that Bharat Biotech International Limited's anti-Covid-19 shot, Covaxin, is likely to be approved for children by September.
"After the completion of the second and third phase of trials of Covaxin for children, the trial data would be made available by September and the vaccine itself is likely to be approved in the same month," Dr Guleria told India Today. He added that the Pfizer-BioNTech shot, if approved in India, could be another alternative for children to be vaccinated with.
As several experts have projected that a potential third Covid-19 wave will be particularly hard-hitting on children, Covaxin is being trialled in children, aged between 2 and 17, at AIIMS Delhi and Patna. On May 12, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) granted Bharat Biotech permission to conduct phase 2 and 3 trials for children.
Dr Guleria, however, disagreed that children will be particularly impacted by a potential third wave, saying there is "no reason to believe this theory." This is in line with a recent AIIMS-World Health Organization (WHO) report which stated that the third wave "may not hit children disproportionately."
The senior doctor also called upon policy makers to consider reopening schools, though he also said it should be ensured that educational institutes do not become "super spreaders." Dr Guleria suggested that this could be achieved by opening schools on alternate days in containment zones, and making children follow Covid-19 appropriate behaviour.