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Updated on: Friday, December 24, 2021, 05:40 PM IST

When will COVID-19 vaccination drive for children start in India? Here's what Centre has to say

STR

STR

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As the COVID-19 vaccination for children is yet under process in India, the Union Health Ministry on Friday said that it will be governed by the government with science and scientific evidence for lowering the age of vaccination.

While addressing a weekly press briefing, the Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that the government of India has very clearly articulated the position that we would be governed with science and scientific evidence on deciding on the need and timing for additional doses and for lowering the age of vaccination.

Notably, the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) had on December 8 conducted a meeting to take a call regarding administering COVID-19 vaccines to children amid threats of Omicron variant spread, evaluating the results of all the recent trials.

After the meeting, the panel said that many companies are still in the process of conducting scientific trials. Thus, no official dates have been announced to commence the vaccination drive for those below the age of 18 in the country.

The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has granted permission to conduct a clinical trial of five Covid-19 vaccines in children and adolescents.

These five vaccines are--Cadila Healthcare's ZyCoV-D, Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, Serum Institute's Covovax, Biological E's RBD, and Johnson & Johnson and Ad 26COV.2S vaccine.

Zydus Cadila’s ZyCoV-D vaccine, which is the world's first DNA plasmid vaccine against the COVID-19, has been approved for emergency usage for children above the age of 12 by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) and will be rolled out at the appropriate time.

Apart from this, Bharat Biotech recently conducted Phase II and III trials for Covaxin to be administered to children from ages 2 to 18. Trials are also being conducted for Serum Institute of India’s vaccine Covovax, which is being prepared for ages 2 to 18 as well.

Apart from the vaccination of children, many experts are suggesting the administering of a COVID-19 booster shot among adults to strengthen their immunity and prevent the spread of the Omicron variant. WHO has also recommended the criteria for administering the booster dose recently, suggesting that only those with health problems should opt for it.

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Published on: Friday, December 24, 2021, 05:40 PM IST
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