Leading paediatricians have welcomed the Drug Controller General of India’s (DCGI) approval to Bharat Biotech conduct the phase II and III clinical trial of Covaxin on children in the age group of 2 to 18 years.
The trial will be conducted in 525 healthy volunteers. In the trial, the vaccine will be given by intramuscular route in two doses at day 0 and day 28.
Dr Vijay Yewale, consultant at the Dr Yewale Multipseciality hospital for children said there was a need to look at the safety efficacy of these vaccines in children. “We know that a very small percentage of children were infected by Covid. There is a need to protect them. The Centre’s decision is a good move as it will pave way for other vaccine manufacturing companies to seek permission for similar trials in children,” he noted.
Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) former president Dr Swati Bhave said it is the need of the hour to vaccinate children to protect them from Covid as the virus is affecting them. India has a large number of child population and vaccinating them will help herd immunity. “It will be easy to vaccinate children as most of them are being taken to their pediatricians for routine vaccination in private and government hospitals. So, there is no need for training or creating infrastructure like in case of adult vaccination,’’ she opined.
According to the practising pediatrician Dr Bakul Parekh it is a very important step towards vaccinating children 2 years and above as they form a huge cohort of population that is up to 30 per cent. “By vaccinating children we can achieve herd immunity earlier and also we protect them. It will prevent them from spreading Covid to elderly in the family,’’ he said.