Need more data to begin Covid-19 vaccination for children at large: ICMR DG
Amid concerns over the impact of a potential third Covid-19 wave on children, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) DG Dr Balram Bhargava said on Friday that till such time there is more data on the vaccination of children, "we would not be able to vaccinate children at large."
"Whether very small children will ever need the vaccine, is still a question. Till such time we have more data on the vaccination of children, we won't be in a position to vaccinate children at large," Bhargava said at a press conference, according to news agency ANI.
"However, we have started a small study on children between the age of 2 and 18, and we shall have the results of that by September or so. However, international jury is still not out and they're still debating whether children need to be vaccinated. We've seen that there have some cases of complications in the United States," he added.
Several experts have projected that a third Covid-19 wave is likely to hit India in the near future, and this potential third wave will be particularly hard hitting for those below 18 years old, including k. As such, AIIMS Delhi and Patna have commenced trials to vaccinate children.
However, a recent AIIMS-World Health Organization (WHO) suggested that a third Covid-19 wave "may not hit kids disproportionately."
In a recent interview to India Today, AIIMS director Randeep Guleria said that Bharat Biotech's Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin, is likely to be approved for children in September. Three other vaccines, including another Bharat Biotech shot, are expected to be available for children soon.
Currently, those above the age of 18 are eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine shot in the country.