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COVID-19 vaccination for children in India could begin in November: NK Arora

COVID vaccination for children under 18 with comorbidities can begin as early as October-end or November, said the chairman of Centre’s COVID-19 working group of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI)

October 14, 2021 / 11:14 AM IST
Representative image (AFP)

Representative image (AFP)


COVID-19 vaccination drive for children between 2 and 18 years of age can begin as early as next month, said Dr NK Arora, the chairman of Centre’s COVID-19 working group of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI).

In an interview with CNN-News18, Arora said the Centre is preparing a list of comorbidities and children suffering from those on the list will be prioritised for the jab.

Immunisation for kids with comorbidities can begin as early as October-end or November, Arora said, adding that healthy children will be taken up for COVID-19 vaccination in the first quarter of 2022.

India has become the first country to authorise a coronavirus vaccine for kids as young as two years old.

The Centre on October 12 gave emergency use authorisation to Bharat Biotech's Covaxin for children aged between 2-18.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Two doses of Covaxin will be administered to children with a gap of 28 days.

India had in August approved Zydus Cadila's three-dose needle-free vaccine ZyCoV-D, making it the first vaccine to be administered in the age group of 12 to 18, besides adults.

Talks are underway between the Centre and Zydus Cadila over the pricing of ZyCov-D after the pharma company reportedly proposed a price of Rs 1,900 for its three-dose jab.

Moneycontrol News
first published: Oct 14, 2021 11:12 am

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