The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGA) has given Bharat Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin the authorisation for restricted emergency use for children between the ages of 6 and 12. It has also granted authorisation to Biological E’s Corbevax for the 5-12 age group. The recommendation has come in the wake of an uptick in coronavirus cases in schools across the country.
The BMC said the Covaxin drive will be rolled out next week at all Covid vaccination centres in Mumbai, where nearly five lakh children are eligible. Officials said paediatricians are likely to play a major role and that they are awaiting guidelines from the Centre.
Additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani said they are ready with a plan and will accordingly instruct all centres. He said each centre will have at least two to three paediatricians to supervise the drive as they will be able to better explain to parents about the vaccines currently in use for children in the 12-14 and 15-17 age groups. He added the BMC will also conduct a meeting with paediatricians this week
Meanwhile, senior paediatricians have welcomed the move and said it was long-awaited as more and more children have been contracting Covid. Experts said the response in the early days will be very poor, but will gradually increase as awareness regarding vaccines rises. A doctor said, “I urge parents to get their children vaccinated and consult their paediatricians before coming to the vaccine centres.”