The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation on Tuesday allowed Serum Insititute to enrol kids aged 7-11 years for its trial of US drugmaker Novavax's COVID-19 vaccine. According to Reuters, a subject expert panel of the drug regulator said, "after detailed deliberation, the committee recommended for allowing enrolment of subjects of 7 to 11 years of age group as per the protocol."
The SII is already conducting a trial of its COVID-19 vaccine Covovax, a domestically produced version of Novavax's shot, in the 12-17 age group and has presented safety data for an initial 100 participants.The Novavax vaccine is yet to be granted approval by the health authorities.
Earlier this month, Serum Institute chief Adar Poonawalla said he expects Covovax to be approved for those below 18 years in January or February next year.
So far, only drugmaker Zydus Cadila's DNA COVID-19 vaccine has received emergency use approval in the country to be used in adults and children aged 12 years and above.
Meanwhile, with the Centre planning to procure 25 crore of vaccine doses per month, a top government source said that by the end of September, the Centre can procure 1 crore doses of Zydus DNA Covid vaccine.
The source said, "India will procure about 20 crore doses of Covishield and 3.5 crore doses of Covaxin this month, and the target is to procure more than 25 crore doses per month."
Stating that there is no shortage of vaccines in the country, the source said that the Centre is capable of supplying as many vaccine doses the states need, in real time without any delay.
The source said that the Serum Institute of India will give 20 crore doses of Covisheild this month. Last month, the SII supplied 19 crore doses of Covishield.
The source also said that the poll-bound states are on top priority list to administer the first dose of the vaccine.