Covid-19 vaccine supply hasn't closed, says Dr VK Paul
- The Pfizer vaccine which was created in collaboration with German biotechnology firm BioNTech is the only vaccine currently being administered to children in few countries.
Niti Aayog (health) member Dr VK Paul on Thursday said that Covid-19 vaccine supply hasn't closed. "To say Covid-19 vaccine supply has closed isn't true. Truth is that out of the available production, a distinct part is available to non-government channels, including state governments, to be used for vaccinating people of their state according to flexible approach by state governments," Dr Paul told news agency ANI.
He further said that it has been found out that now Pfizer can be administered to the younger population. "When any drug/vaccine is discovered, typically it is first sorted out in the adult population because you do not want to risk children....It has been found out now that Pfizer can be administered to the younger population," said the NITI Aayog member.
On vaccination for children, Dr Paul said that Covaxin has received permission and it will start pediatric trial. "I think they are going all the way to 2 years of age in systematic way. I have been told Serum Institute of India (SII) wants to begin pediatric trial of Novavax," he added.
Paul further said that the World Health Organization (WHO) hasn't given any recommendation yet to cover pediatric population in general as any illness in that population group is extremely mild. "If we go with paradigm of deaths as a public health objective, it's at lower priority," he said.
The Niti Aayog member added that they will have to prepare to give 1 crore doses in a day. "It will be possible in few weeks, we will have to prepare. We made possible 43 lakh doses in a day. We should bring it up to 73 lakh in next 3 weeks. We should make a system to achieve it," he said.
This comes after Pfizer told the Centre that their Covid-19 vaccine can be administered to everyone aged 12 and above and can also be stored at 2-8 degree temperature for a month, sources told news agency ANI.
The Pfizer vaccine which was created in collaboration with German biotechnology firm BioNTech is the only vaccine currently being administered to children in few countries.