Covid-19 vaccine for children: These four are on the horizon
The expert group looking at vaccine approvals on Tuesday recommended that Bharat Biotech's indigenous Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin should be given emergency use authorisation for children in the age group of two to 18 years.
The recommendation is a step further towards launch of a Covid-19 vaccine for children ahead of the festival season and amid concerns over a possible third wave of infection. However, the final approval is yet to be given, which will be done by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).
That step is expected to be completed within days, according to people aware of the matter.
Union minister of state for health and family welfare Bharati Pravin Pawar on Tuesday said that evaluation of Covid-19 vaccine for children is under progress. "The process is on and we don't interfere in this matter. Will go ahead after discussions with experts," the minister said.
There are so far only four vaccines on the horizon for children. These are:
ZvCoV-D by Zydus Cadila: Approved for use in age groups 12 and above, in line with trials. However, it has not been included as part of the vaccination drive. Indigenously developed and needle-free ZyCoV-D has received EUA from the drug regulator, making it the first vaccine to be administered in the age group of 12-18 years in the country.
Covaxin by Bharat Biotech: Recommended for use in ages 2 and above. This vaccine has also not yet been included as part of the vaccination drive.
Corbevax by Biological E: This vaccine has been cleared for trials in children aged 5-18. The vaccine has been developed with support from the Department of Biotechnology and its PSU Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) from the preclinical stage to phase 3 studies.
Covovax by Serum Institute of India (SII): It has been cleared for trials in children aged 2-18. It is the Indian version of the Novovax vaccine brought in India by the SII for children. The company's chief Adar Poonawalla said last month that he expects Covovax to be approved for those below 18 years in January or February next year.