Covid-19 vaccine trials for kids: 2nd dose of Covaxin to be administered next week, report says
Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Limited may next week administer second dose of its anti-Covid shot, Covaxin, to children in the age group of 2-6 as part of its vaccination trials for kids, Hindustan Times' sister publication Live Hindustan has reported citing an India Today report.
According to the report, which quoted officials of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), second dose of Covaxin has already been administered to children in the age group of 6-12. In view of an anticipated third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, vaccination trials on children have been underway in the country.
Vaccine trials for kids are conducted by dividing them into different categories on the basis of their age, with 175 participants from each age group included. Once every participant has been injected with a second dose, an interim report is expected by the end of August. On the basis of this interim trial report, a decision will be taken if the vaccine is safe to be used on children.
The expected timeline by which the interim report is likely to arrive is nearly in line with an earlier observation made by AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria, who said in June that Covaxin is likely to be approved for children in September.
Covaxin, along with Ahmedabad-based Zydus Cadila's three-dose shot, ZyCov-D, are two vaccines which, experts believe, will be cleared for children in the near future. While Covaxin is already being used in the nationwide vaccination drive, Zydus Cadila on July 1 applied for emergency use authorisation (EUA) of its vaccine candidate for those aged 12 and above.
Government officials, however, have repeatedly said "more data" is required before an anti-coronavirus vaccine can be made available for children.
Currently, all Indian citizens above the age of 18 are eligible to get vaccinated against Covid-19. A total of 406,481,493 vaccine doses have been administered since the beginning of the vaccination drive on January 16, according to Union ministry of health and family welfare.