Guleria said that there are a few vaccine candidates available that have been deemed safe for children. These include Pfizer, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Zydus Cadilla’s ZyCoV-D shots.
Children in India can start receiving coronavirus vaccine shots as early as September, All India Institue of Medical Sciences, New Delhi Director, Dr Randeep Guleria said on Saturday.
Speaking to NDTV, Guleria said that there are a few vaccine candidates available that have been deemed safe for children. These include Pfizer, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Zydus Cadilla’s ZyCoV-D shots.
Which vaccine candidates are in pipeline for use in children?
So far, no Covid vaccine for below 12-year-olds has been approved anywhere in the world while India is only vaccinating those who are 18 and above. However, a few vaccine candidates are in the pipeline.
- While Pfizer already has US Food and Drug Administration’s approval for use on children aged 12 to 17, it expects approval for use on children between 5 to 11 years of age by September. The company is also conducting trials on children of ages between 6 months to 11 years.
- Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine has started trials on children aged 12 to 17 years in Moscow, earlier this month.
- Of the homegrown candidates, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin is undergoing trials on children at AIIMS Delhi. It is due to begin trial for the second dose of Covaxin on children between the age of 2-6 years by next week, while children between ages 6-12 years have already received the second shot and are being monitored for antibody response and reports of any vaccine-induced adverse events.
- Zydus Cadila’s vaccine for children is has concluded its clinical trial for the age group of 12 to 18.
However, Pune’s Serum Institute was denied permission to conduct trials of its Covovax vaccine on children between 2 to 17 years. The expert panel recommended that SII finish their adult trials first.
Guleria had in the past also advocated for reopening of schools highlighting that children have stronger resistance to serious disease even if they do contract the infection. Suggesting strongly that now it is high time that schools should reopen, Guleria said, “I personally feel that we should aggressively work on opening schools because it has really affected the young generation in terms of knowledge and especially the marginalised ones who can’t go for online classes, they are suffering.”