India to allow Novavax’s Vaccine for trials for kids
Pune – US biotech firm Novavax has started the clinical trials of its proposed COVID-19 vaccine on children. In its pilot program, it involved up to 3,000 adolescents aged 12-17.
Early-stage clinical trial results showed that their vaccine is safe and elicits an immune response for the children. Since this vaccine uses a different technology from the doses already widely licensed around the world, it is more suitable for children. Primarily, it is a protein-based vaccine engineered from the genetic sequence of the first strain of the coronavirus.
India’s drug regulator announced yesterday that they will allow vaccine maker Serum Institute to enroll kids aged 7-11 years for its trial of Novavax’s vaccine. It will be a huge leap for the country to prepare to protect children from the coronavirus. The South Asian nation has already administered more than 870 million doses to adults among its population of nearly 1.4 billion.
An expert from Central Drugs Standard Control Organization mentioned that after detailed deliberation, the committee recommended allowing enrolment of subjects of 7 to 11 years of age group as per the protocol. It can be stored at a temperature between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius. Other vaccine companies including Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer are also conducting trials in adolescents, but India will prefer Novavax’s vaccine for now.
It will be a crucial step for Indian healthcare experts since vaccine authorization for children is seen as a crucial step towards achieving herd immunity.