Covid19

Covid-19 vaccination for children may begin from next month: Health Minister

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Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya notified on Tuesday that the Centre is likely to start vaccination of children against the Covid-19 in August, news agency ANI reported. The health minister reportedly said this during a BJP parliamentary party meetingwas also attended by prime minister Narendra Modi.

He had said, “We would likely begin vaccinating children from next month.”

The statement comes at a time when it is widely speculated that impact of a possible third COVID wave on children is likely to be higher as compared to the first or the second wave. And, absence of vaccines for children adds to the woes.

Meanwhile, noting that Covid vaccines becoming available for children would be a milestone achievement, AIIMS Chief Dr Randeep Guleria last week told news agency ANI, it would pave the way for the reopening of schools and the resumption of outdoor activities for them.

Speaking about COVID vaccines for kids, he mentioned, as reported by ANI, that trials for Bharat Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin on children are underway and results are expected to be released by September.

He added, “In the coming weeks or by September, vaccines should be available for children. We should then start schools in a graded manner as we have been doing for 18-45 years age and that also will give more protection to kids and more confidence to the public that children are safe.”

The trials for the vaccines are being conducted in three phases as per the age of the children. The first trial was started in the age group of 12 to 18 years followed by the age group of 6 to 12. Trials for children between the ages of and 2-6 years are currently undergoing trials.

He further said that vaccine manufacturer Zydus Cadila, which recently requested EUA for its COVID vaccine ZyCov-D, has also included the data for children for their vaccine.

Additionally, if the Pfizer vaccine also receives approval from the Centre then it could also become an option for children, Dr Guleria said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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