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Centre Plans to Inoculate 80% Children Aged 12-18, Covaxin Likely to Lead Drive: Report

Representational image.

Representational image.

There appears to be no substantial evidence to suggest that children will be more affected or have greater illness severity due to COVID-19 in the anticipated third wave.

The Centre is planning to inoculate 80 per cent of the 130 million children aged between 12-18 years.

According to a report by The Indian Express, for this, the government needs to secure at least 210 million doses of a two-dose vaccine.

There appears to be no substantial evidence to suggest that children will be more affected or have greater illness severity due to COVID-19 in the anticipated third wave, according to a new report. The Lancet COVID-19 Commission India Task Force prepared the report after convening an experts group comprising leading paediatricians from the country to examine the issue of paediatric COVID-19′ in India.

It said the infection’s symptomatology in children in India appears to be globally comparable. “Most children with COVID-19 are asymptomatic, and amongst those symptomatic mild infections are predominant. Most children have fever with respiratory symptoms, and often present with gastrointestinal symptoms (such as diarrhea, vomiting, pain in abdomen) and atypical manifestation compared to adults. The proportion of symptomatic children increases as age increases as does the severity in such age groups," the report stated.

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In the absence of a national database on clinical presentation and outcomes of infected children during the two surges noted thus far, the data of approximately 2,600 hospitalised children, below the age of 10 years (excluding neonates), from 10 hospitals (both public and private), in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra and Delhi-NCR region, was collected and analysed. According to the data, mortality rates amongst these surveyed hospitalised COVID-19 positive children below the age of 10 years was 2.4 per cent and about 40 per cent of the children who died had comorbidities.

“Nine per cent of all hospitalised COVID-19 positive children presented with severe illness, under 10 years of age. The above observations were similar during the two surges of COVID-19 infections India has experienced," the Lancet document said. Three doctors from AIIMS, namely Sheffali Gulati, Sushil K Kabra and Rakesh Lodha, contributed to the study.

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first published:June 14, 2021, 09:39 IST