COVAXIN for children aged 2-18 by September, says AIIMS chief
India's first coronavirus vaccine for children could be ready by September, said Dr. Randeep Guleria, the chief of Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). Data from COVAXIN's trials on children will be available in September and a regulatory approval is expected that same month, Dr. Guleria told India Today in an interview. COVAXIN is India's only fully indigenous COVID-19 jab so far.
This is what Dr. Guleria said
"COVAXIN's data for children after completion of the Phase 2/3 trials will be available by September and the approval is expected the same month," Dr. Guleria said in the interview published last night.
COVAXIN clinical trials on children are currently underway
AIIMS-Delhi had this month started screening children for the clinical trials of COVAXIN. A week before that, AIIMS-Patna had begun this jab's clinical trials on children. COVAXIN's Phase 2/3 trials would be conducted on 525 volunteers at several sites. Bharat Biotech, which developed this vaccine, had last month obtained permission from the Drugs Controller General of India to carry out its trials on children.
Zydus Cadila, Pfizer could provide more options to India
Meanwhile, the Ahmedabad-based firm Zydus Cadila is also testing its COVID-19 vaccine candidate on children aged 12-18. Data from its trials will help authorities in determining if its vaccine could be used in children. That apart, India is expected to soon grant regulatory approval to Pfizer, whose COVID-19 vaccine is already approved for children in several countries, implying that could potentially be another option.
Will the third wave be more dangerous for children?
Until recently, it was being widely believed that a new wave of COVID-19 infections would affect children harder. However, experts have said there is no data available yet to prove that theory. Citing a recent seroprevalence study by AIIMS and the WHO, the Indian government has made it clear that the level of antibodies has been found quite similar among both adults and children.
India's coronavirus situation
India had faced the world's worst coronavirus outbreak earlier this year, witnessing lakhs of cases and thousands of fatalities daily. Daily cases in India had peaked at 4,14,000 in early May. The situation has since improved. In the past 24 hours, the country reported 50,848 new cases and 1,358 deaths. Nearly 18% of the Indian population has been partially vaccinated against the coronavirus.