Covid-19 vaccine trials for kids: 2nd dose of Covaxin to be administered next week, report says

Bharat Biotech is likely to administer second dose to participants in the 2-6 age group, while those between 6-12 years of age have already received their second dose.
Bharat Biotech's Covaxin (Bloomberg)
Bharat Biotech's Covaxin (Bloomberg)
Published on Jul 19, 2021 07:40 PM IST
Copy Link | Written by Karan Manral, New Delhi

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.

Also Read | 'Taking all steps to safeguard...': Centre on children affected by Covid-19

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.

Also Read | Need more data to begin Covid-19 vaccination for children at large: ICMR DG

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.

Also Read | Covaxin likely to be approved for children by Sept: Dr Randeep Guleria

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.

Also Read | Zydus Cadila seeks DCGI nod for emergency use of its DNA vaccine for 12+ age

Government officials, however, have repeatedly said "more data" is required before an anti-coronavirus vaccine can be made available for children.

Also Read | When would Zydus Cadila's anti-Covid vaccine be available for children? 'Need more data,' says Dr VK Paul

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.

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