Patna’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has started the paediatric trials for Covaxin after Bharat Biotech received the nod from Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for clinical trials on May 11.
According to news agency ANI, VK Paul, Member (Health), Niti Aayog had earlier said, “Covaxin has been approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), for Phase II/III clinical trials in the age group of 2 to 18 years."
Several experts have warned that the third wave will likely affect children, as Singapore has already reported.
Virologist Dr V Ravi told Hindustan Times that it was common sense that the virus will attack people who are not immune. “You can get immunity from this virus either through infection or through vaccination. If not, the virus will definitely catch you. Adults, more people are getting infected — most in the first wave and second wave. Adults have vaccine so they are getting vaccinated. Children in the first wave we had only 4% (infection) across the country, in the second wave 10-15%. ” Ravi explained that it left about 60% of children vulnerable because there are no vaccines for children yet in India.
Meanwhile, ICMR director-general Dr Balram Bhargava said said that there is no shortage of vaccine. Bhargava, while speaking at the routine Health Ministry press briefing, reiterated the Centre’s promise of vaccinating the entire population by December.
“There is no shortage of vaccines. This is what you feel if you want to vaccinate the country within a month. Our population is four times that of the United States. Need to have some patience… by mid-July, or early-August, we’ll have enough doses for a crore a day," he said.
The Centre has so far provided, both through the free of cost and through direct state procurement categories, more than 23 crore vaccine doses to states and UTs.
On mixing vaccines amid an acute shortage as a huge chink pf population is waiting for their second doses, the Centre said that taking two different shots is not protocol and there is no change in the schedule of the two-dose Covishield and Covaxin vaccines.