COVID-19: Covaxin clinical trials in 2-18 years age group to begin in next 10-12 days, says govt

Amid concerns over the third wave of COVID-19 to impact the kids, the government has been mulling ways to prepare for the same.

Niti Aayog Member Dr VK Paul on Tuesday said that the COVIAXIN trials in the age group of 2 to 18 years will begin in the next 10-12 days.

"COVAXIN has been approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), for Phase II/III clinical trials in the age group of 2 to 18 years. I have been told that trials will begin in the next 10-12 days," said Dr. VK Paul, Member-Health, Niti Aayog.

With many predicting a third wave of the virus in the months to come, experts say that the younger population may become the most affected. Against this backdrop, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had approved clinical trials of a COVID-19 vaccine on children.

While location and other details are not yet known, an official press note from the Centre explains that the trial will be conducted with 525 healthy volunteers. The will be administered two intramuscular doses with a gap of 28 days - the same as their adult counterparts.

India may not witness a deadly third wave of the coronavirus if necessary steps are taken, the government's top scientific adviser Dr. K VijayRaghavan said on Friday.

"If we take strong measures, the third wave may not happen in all the places or indeed anywhere at all. It depends much on how effectively the guidance is implemented at the local level, in the states, in districts & in the cities everywhere," he said.

This comes two days after Dr. K VijayRaghavan said that the third wave is "inevitable". "Phase 3 (third wave) is inevitable, given the high levels at which this virus is circulating. But it is not clear at what time scale this Phase 3 will occur. Hopefully, incrementally, but we should prepare for new waves. Ongoing surveillance is needed as are vaccine upgrades," Dr K VijayRaghavan had said.

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