COVID-19 vaccines for children: Here's how Centre plans 80% coverage in 12-18 age group
To vaccinate a large section of Indians in the 12-18 age group against COVID-19, the Centre may rely on Covaxin which is currently under trial for usage on children.
June 14, 2021 / 08:53 AM IST
File image: A health official draws a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine
The Centre is targeting to cover 80 percent of the 130 million people falling in the 12-18 age group as part of the COVID-19 vaccination drive for children, the Indian Express reported. Thus, the government would need to procure around 210 million shots of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine.
While Pfizer-BioNTech’s jab has been approved in the European Union for use in the 12-15 age bracket, the news report suggests that Covaxin, the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech, would used in India for this purpose, the news report suggests. Covaxin is already being administered to adults. Trials are underway for its use on children.
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This is because even if Pfizer’s jab is only used for children, and not for adults, the short supply would still not be enough to cover the age group.
Zydus Cadila’s ZyCov-D vaccine may also supply a part of the doses required to immunise children, the newspaper report cited NITI Aayog Member—Health Dr Vinod K Paul as saying. Paul also chairs the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC).
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However, the Centre currently does not have enough data on whether ZyCov-D can be administered to children. The government is expecting to get clarity on the matter when Zydus Cadila formally approaches the Indian regulator with its application soon.
The central government, which has taken over the entire vaccine procurement process from the states, is expecting a supply of 626 million Covaxin doses between July and December and an additional 47 million doses of ZyCov-D between September and December.
The Centre plans to vaccinate all adults by the end of this year.Follow Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here