India must procure Covid-19 vaccines in full measure to keep children safe: Manish Sisodia
Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday said that the central government must procure as many vaccines against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) as possible to keep children safe, especially in the backdrop of a potential third wave of the pandemic. Sisodia highlighted that the world has started working on vaccines for children under age 12 and shared a news article involving American pharmaceutical company Pfizer testing its Covid-19 vaccines on a larger group of children of the aforementioned age group.
Sharing the newspaper report, Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia tweeted out, "The world has started working on vaccines for children under age 12. Centre Govt should proactively do the needful to procure as many vaccines as possible to keep our children safe."
It is to be noted that only people aged 18 and above are currently being vaccinated against Covid-19 in India. The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi has frequently expressed its concerns over the safety of children in India from the coronavirus disease, citing the opinion of experts that those under age 12 stand a heightened risk of contracting the virus during the potential third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi has recently started screening children aged between 2 and 18, for the trial of Covaxin, India's first indigenously developed Covid-19 vaccine. AIIMS Patna had already started the screening process earlier to see if the Bharat Biotech jab is suitable for children. India's drug regulator, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), had granted permission on May 18 for conducting the Phase 2/3 clinical trial of Covaxin in the age group 2 to 18 years.
A national expert group has been formed to review Covid-19 infections in children and approach the pandemic in a renewed way to strengthen the nation's preparedness, NITI Aayog Member (Health) V K Paul had said at a press conference earlier this week.
(With inputs from agencies)