Kids could soon get the vaccine you took

  • This happened: An expert panel advising India’s drug regulator has recommended authorising, with certain conditions, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for children above the age of 2.
  • What now? The Drugs Controller General of India should now take a call on whether to clear the vaccine for kids or not. The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation for Covid-19 will also evaluate the data. Bharat Biotech had submitted the data from Phase 2 and 3 trials of Covaxin on children below 18 in September.
  • It matters: Once approved, it could immediately be inducted into the Covid-19 vaccination programme as Covaxin is already being administered to everyone above the age of 18. As per government figures, India has around 440 million children. India has thus far administered over 110 million doses of Covaxin in adults.
  • Also note: India had earlier approved the needle-free, DNA-based vaccine made by Zydus Cadila for everyone above the age of 12, but those shots are yet to be included in the immunisation programme. Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya had told Rajya Sabha the shots will be available in “September-October” but the shots are yet to be procured by the government.
  • But… The Subject Expert Committee has placed conditions that Bharat Biotech continue the clinical trials and also submit adverse event data and analysis every 15 days for the first two months and monthly thereafter. “The firm should submit a risk management plan,” the recommendations said.

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