Health Minister: Children to get Covid-19 vaccine likely from next month
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Tuesday in a BJP Parliamentary meeting that starting next month government is likely to kickstart vaccinations for children against Covid-19.
Mandaviya added that India will soon become the world’s largest producer of Covid-19 vaccines as more companies are on track to get their licenses.
The Centre had informed Delhi High Court earlier this month that vaccines will soon be available for children between ages of 12-18 years. Thereafter policy on vaccinations would be formulated.
Centre has added that Zydus Cadila, which has completed its development of DNA vaccine against Covid-19 and has concluded the trials for the said age group of 12-18 years, will make the vaccine available in near future subject to required provisions.
Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine has already been approved by European Union for use in 12-18 years age group. DCGI (Drug Controller of India) has given the green flag to Bharat Biotech for conducting clinical vaccine trials for 2-18 age group.
A senior official has said that inclination would be to push for India’s indigenous vaccine Covaxin to be available for children. The vaccine is however, still being tested in children. This is because there is no certain timeline as to when the Pfizer vaccine will come to India. In comparison to this, Bharat Biotech is at a better place to cater to large orders in India.
Dr. Randeep Guleria, AIIMS Chief, has called the availability of Covid-19 vaccines for children in India to be a great milestone in country’s vision of vaccinating the large population.
This would make the road easier towards reopening of schools and educational institutes, as well as resuming outdoor activities for children. “Schools have to be reopened and vaccination can play an important role in that. Vaccination is the way out from the pandemic,” he said.