Covid vaccination for children may begin in August

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NEW DELHI: The government is likely to start vaccinating children against Covid-19 by next month, Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said in a BJP parliamentary party meeting held on Tuesday, news agency ANI reported.
This after the Centre had told the Delhi High Court earlier this month that Covid vaccines may soon be available for children between 12 and 18 years of age and a policy on vaccinating them would be formulated after acquiring approval.
It is also widely speculated that the impact of a possible third wave on children is likely to be higher compared with the first or the second wave. And, absence of vaccines for children adds to the woes.
"Trial for the Zydus Cadila vaccine is almost complete. By July-end or in August, we might be able to start administering this vaccine to children of 12-18 age group," Dr N K Arora, chairman of the COVID-19 working group of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI), had said recently.
The government had also informed the Supreme Court recently that the vaccine developed by Zydus Cadila will be available soon for children who are 12 and above subject to statutory permissions.
Zydus Cadila is likely to soon apply to the Drugs Controller General of India for emergency use authorisation for its vaccine ZyCoV-D, which it claims can be given to both adults and children.
Earlier, AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria had told PTI that making vaccine available for children will be a milestone achievement and pave the way for reopening of schools and resumption of outdoor activities.
He had said the data of phase two and three trial of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin on two to 18 years age group is expected by September.
The vaccine can be available for children in India around that time following approval from the drug regulator, he had said.


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