Mumbai: The Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) on Friday granted emergency use authorisation to Gujarat-based Zydus Cadila’s three-dose Covid-19 vaccine 'ZyCoV-D' for use in adults and children above 12 years of age, making it the first vaccine to be administered to the adolescent population in India.
Besides, Johnson & Johnson has applied for permission to conduct COVID-19 vaccine trials in India on children in the 12-17 age group.
In a brief statement released on Friday, the American pharma giant said it had submitted its application on Tuesday, and 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.
"To ultimately achieve herd immunity it is imperative that COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials continue to move forward in this population, and we remain deeply committed to the critical work needed to make our COVID-19 vaccine equitably accessible for all age groups," the statement read.
Meanwhile, the Free Press Journal spoke to a few parents regarding this development. We sought to understand their views/hesitancy in vaccinating their children against the viral infections.
Here is what they had to say:
Sunita Binu, a healthcare worker from Kerala's Kottayam district, said: "Being a healthcare worker, I dreaded coming home to my family, especially my son, as I knew I was putting not just myself, but them as well, at risk. My husband and I have received both doses of the vaccine. We are perfectly fine! We never had second thoughts about the vaccine. I believe it is incomplete information and a result of exaggerated rumors that make people worry about the vaccine's efficacy. As soon as I hear it is available next to me, I will take my child to get his first dose of vaccine, and I hope all the parents do the same."
Reetu Neelesh Gaghat, a young mother of two children from Ghatkopar, said: "I don't fear the vaccine; I fear the disease. My children mean the world to me, and so I try to learn new things when it comes to giving and doing what's best for them. I have taken the vaccine, and I want my children to get vaccinated too. If there was something wrong with the vaccine, so many people wouldn't be taking it in the first place."
"I haven't let my son out of my sight for quite some time now, because unlike my husband and I, he hasn't been vaccinated. I would like him to finally get to play with his friends and see the outside world rather than being cooped up at home. As of now, I am left with no choice. But once the vaccination begins, things will hopefully get better, and I would no longer be that worried!" said Nutan Shindey, a parent of two.
Usha Chaurasia, who was accompanied by her 15-year-old son said, "What's there to get scared of? Isn't this a good thing! I don't think there's anyone who's scared that the vaccine would be harmful for their child- at least not that I know of".
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