India may soon get yet another COVID-19 vaccine suitable for children as US-based Johnson & Johnson applies to conduct a vaccine trial of its single dose COVID-19 jab. Earlier, in August, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had announced that the Janssen vaccine had been approved for emergency usage authorisation in the country.
According to a statement by the company, it has submitted its application on Tuesday, and said that it is "imperative" to ensure all sections of the population, including children, are vaccinated against the coronavirus as quickly as possible to stop the virus. Including Johnson & Johnson, there are presently five COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved for use in India. This is however the second jab to be granted EUA through the fast-track approval route by the Drug Controller General of India.
The Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine is manufactured using a specific type of virus called adenovirus type 26 (Ad26). The vaccine uses Ad26 to deliver a piece of the DNA, or genetic material, that is used to make the distinctive “spike” protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The jab is being brought to India through a collaboration with Biological E Limited. It is however not clear when exactly the vaccine will become available to the general populace.
Earlier this year, two indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccines had begun conducting trials among children in India. These are Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Zydus Cadila’s ZyCov-D. Thus far however there are no COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorised for use on children in India.