- Vaccines which were in the market were those which were for above 18 years
- India has recently approved a vaccine for children aged 12 years and above
- Vaccination campaign started in India on January 16
New Delhi: The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on Friday approved Zydus Cadila’s DNA vaccine for emergency use in adults an d children aged 12 years and above. It is considered a timely move amid warnings of an upcoming third wave in the country. Recently, a committee of experts under the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) warned of the third COVID-19 wave that could peak around October and sought better preparedness for children.
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Dr Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, while speaking exclusively to ANI on vaccines for children in India and use of Zydus Cadila’s ZyCoV-D for above 12 years adolescents, said,
So far the vaccines which were in the market were those which were for above 18 years. This is the DNA vaccine that has just received emergency use authorization is for 12 to 18 years and above. For the younger children, maybe 5 to 12 years, and even below there are different stages of the research which is still going on, and mostly all the vaccine manufacturers on different platforms are doing their trials. We know that Bharat biotech has already got permission for the trial of a vaccine which is again for younger children five years and above. Similarly, the biological E is still in their phase three trials. Currently, it’s now doing its phase 2, phase 3 for which it got approval for the trials on children.
So, most of the vaccine developers are working but that’s going to take a little while it’s very difficult to say when, she said.
“But they are already working on it, but this is for 12 and above. It is a good development, and we hope that this is going to make a major difference,” she further said. When asked about the administering of ZyCoV-D to Children she said,
DNA vaccine which has just received emergency use authorization. We’ve just been informed that this was going to take about four weeks before they can bring out the doses for the immunisation programme, which children will get immunised. It will be taken by the entire NTAGI Working Group on COVID because they will have to decide, considering how much volume is going to be available. Knowing this, that this is a new technology, a new platform, it does take time for the scale-up of this vaccine. The schedule of the dosing for which category of children will be guided by the NTAGI the working group based on a number of parameters that they will consider, and that’s how the decision will be taken, she added.
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NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.