While India expanded it's COVID-19 vaccination drive to include all adults at the beginning of May, children have remained excluded from both trials and the inoculation drive for the most part. That however is now set to change, with an expert panel recommending Bharat Biotech's Covaxin for phase II/III clinical trial on those aged between two to 18 years.
As per reports, the trial will take place in 525 subjects at various sites, including AIIMS, Delhi, AIIMS, Patna and Meditrina Institute of Medical Sciences, Nagpur. The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) on COVID-19 of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) on Tuesday deliberated upon Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech's application seeking permission to conduct phase II/III clinical trials to evaluate the safety, reactogenicity and immunogenicity of Covaxin jabs in children aged 2 to 18 years. Earlier the proposal was deliberated in the SEC meeting dated February 24 and the firm was asked to submit a revised clinical trial protocol.
"After detailed deliberation, the committee recommended for conduct of proposed phase II/III clinical trial of whole virion inactivated coronavirus vaccine in the 2 to 18 years age group subject to the condition that the firm should submit the interim safety data of phase II clinical trial along with DSMB recommendations to the CDSCO before proceeding to phase III part of the study," a source told PTI.
The vaccine, developed indigenously in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research has been administered to adults in the country since the beginning of this year. It is a two dose vaccine that had shown interim efficacy of 81%.