Covaxin gets emergency use nod for kids: Here's what experts have to say

  • Health experts have welcomed the move saying it will be beneficial for children and help them resume normal lives but added that there is a need to establish its efficacy globally.
Bharat Biotech was granted approval for conducting Covaxin trials in children back in May.(AP)
Bharat Biotech was granted approval for conducting Covaxin trials in children back in May.(AP)
Published on Oct 13, 2021 03:48 PM IST
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Byhindustantimes.com | Edited by Parmita Uniyal

As national drugs regulator’s subject expert committee approves the use of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin in children between the age-group of 2-18, health experts have welcomed the development saying it will be beneficial for children and help them resume normal lives but added that there is a need to establish its efficacy globally so that the children are not subject to restrictive measures when they travel abroad.

Covaxin is the second Covid-19 vaccine to be approved for emergency use among children in India after Zydus Healthcare’s ZyCoV-D that is meant for children above 12 years of age.

"The recommendation of the subject expert committee to use Covaxin in children aged between 2 and 18 years is a step towards defeating the pandemic. It is the second vaccine for children and as they resume school. Having a vaccine for children will certainly help them return to normal lives faster. However, according to the principal investigator of Covaxin trials on children, vaccine safety and immunogenicity results are awaited. It is important to establish the efficacy of the vaccine by the time it is approved for administration. At the same time, efforts must be made to establish the efficacy of the vaccine globally so that the children are not subject to restrictive measures when they travel abroad," says Dr. Gauri Agarwal gynaecologist seeds of innocence & genestrings diagnostics.

ALSO READ: How effective is ZyCoV-D, the vaccine for adolescents? All about the needle-free, three-dose vaccine

Terming the move beneficial for both children as well people around them, experts feel this will help achieve herd immunity and decrease the risk of further waves.

"No doubt, children and adolescents are vulnerable groups and if the vaccine safety data is strong enough and we immunise them, it will have a big impact in reducing the transmission of Covid. This will be a major step as school, coaching centres and sport centres are gradually opening," says Dr. Akshay Budhraja, Senior Consultant, Pulmonology, Aakash Healthcare, Dwarka.

WHO (World Health Organisation) experts will meet this week to take the final decision on granting the emergency use listing to Covaxin.

"Since the Covid vaccination is yet to arrive for children and is at the trial stage, we need to see that we provide proper protection to them by giving them timely vaccination so that the severity of the infection significantly come down even in case they end up contracting Covid," he added.

"This is going to be a great Diwali gift for our young population who have suffered not just because of pandemic related isolation but also on education and physical activity/sports front. With school opening in many states, the vaccine will help bring normalcy sooner. It is also a proud moment for the country that a homegrown vaccine is one of the first globally to get emergency use authorisation for children that young. What will of course be a cherry on the cake will be if WHO also provided its approval on the vaccine sooner, said Himanshu Sikka, Lead- Health, Nutrition & WASH, IPE Global (international development health consulting firm).

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Sunday, December 05, 2021