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COVID-19 Vaccines For Children Likely By September, AIIMS Chief Reveals About Covaxin Trials



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New Delhi: All India Medical Institute Director Dr. Randeep Guleria on Friday said that vaccines for children will be available by September. Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin trials for children are presently underway and the results are expected to be released by September, Dr. Guleria stated while speaking to news agency ANI. 

Vaccination of children has been an intensely debated topic ever since the inoculation of the adult population began last December. 

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“The vaccines for children should come out now because trials in India are already there in the vaccines which are available in India, Bharat Biotech trial is in the final phase by September we will have the data,” Dr. Randeep Guleria was quoted as saying.

The trial is conducted in three phases by segregating children into categories according to their age. The first trial was started in the age group of 12-18 years followed by the age group of 6-12 years and 2-6 years which are currently undergoing trials.

He further said Zydus Cadila has included the data for children for their COVID-19 vaccine. “Zydus Cadila vaccine has also included children and their data is already there. They have already applied for the emergency use authorization,” he said.

Zydus Cadila has concluded its trial for the 12-18 years group, the report said. The Ahmedabad-based company has applied for emergency use authorisation of its plasmid DNA vaccine (the first-of-its-kind in the world) and has been asked to submit more data.

It will, however, be a few more days before the country’s drug regulator Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) gives it emergency use authorization, as per sources.

Dr Guleria also said, “In the coming few weeks or by September vaccines should be available for children. We should then start schools in a graded manner as we have been doing for 18-45 years age and that also will give more protection to kid and more confidence to public that children are safe.”

The Government of India has been holding discussions with COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers Moderna and Pfizer, for procuring their vaccines. However, there has been a delay over the same.

“There could be multiple reasons of delay. I think two or three things need to be kept in mind. One is collaboration and the understanding with the government on the doses. But they should also have that many doses to give because we must understand that these companies have pre-booked the order from many countries. Thus, they have obligation to give vaccines to those countries. Unless they fulfill the obligations, they cannot spare doses for other countries like India and other parts of the world. They have huge pre-booked doses,” explained the AIIMS chief.

India has been in discussions with the two firms on several issues including indemnity waiver.

Earlier, Dr V K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog had informed: “We are holding discussions. It is a process of negotiation and dialogues. We are trying to get a solution to contractual and commitments issues. This process is ongoing.” 

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