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Covid Vaccines For Children: Experts Speak On The Options Available For India

As India continues its fight against coronavirus, NDTV speaks with experts to know about options the country have to roll out COVID vaccine for children

Covid Vaccines For Children: Options For India
Highlights
  • India is likely to start vaccinating children by September
  • Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and Zydus Cadila's candidate are testing vaccines
  • The government's plan is to vaccinate all adults by the end of this year

New Delhi: India is likely to start vaccinating children by September, the plan, which was announced by AIIMS Chief Dr Randeep Guleria. While speaking with NDTV, he emphasised that this move will be an important step in breaking the chain of transmission in the country and will help in opening schools that have been closed mostly since March 2020.

Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Zydus Cadila’s candidate are testing vaccines for children. The results of the Covaxin trials are expected by September, AIIMS chief Randeep Guleria has said. Whereas, trials of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine are on currently in Moscow for children age between 12 to 17 years.

Zydus has already done the trials and they’re waiting for emergency authorisation. The Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin trials should be over by August or September, and by that time we should get approval. Pfizer vaccine has been already approved by the FDA (US regulator – Food and Drug Administration). Hopefully, by September, we should start vaccinating children, and that will be a big boost as far as breaking the chain of transmission is concerned, Dr Guleria told NDTV.

Also Read: Effects Of Future Waves Of COVID-19 On Children Are Speculations: Doctor

India has given over 44 crore doses of vaccines so far. The government’s plan is to vaccinate all adults by the end of this year.

As we move ahead in this fight against the virus, we speak with more experts to know more about options that we have in our country when it comes to vaccinating children between the age of 12 to 17 years.

Talking about which vaccine will first be available for children, Dr Suneela Garg, Member, Lancet Commission Covid India Task Force; Director, Professor HAG Community Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College,

First vaccine which we expect will be Bharat Biotech as that has already completed the two phases of trials that include 12 – 18 years of age children and 6 to 12. And now they will be moving to the third phase, which will include children below 6 years of age. Simultaneously, we also have ZyCoV-D for the 12-18 age group and that it could soon be available in the country as Zydus Cadila has successfully concluded the clinical trial of its DNA-based Covid-19 vaccine for that particular age group and has applied for emergency approval. Though Moderna and Pfizer are already being used for children (12-18 years) across but their coming to India, for now, is full of challenges.

Also Read: How Has COVID-19 Impacted Children? Experts Discuss At The Townhall

Stressing on the fact that for now the way forward is to vaccinate our adults fully Dr Garg added, “Till the time we have any vaccine in hand for vaccinating our children, the only way ahead is to vaccinate our adults – as much as we can. We have to pay more focus on rural areas, though we are seeing a shift from vaccine hesitancy to vaccine eagerness, but we will have to be cautious enough to not let our guard down. We need to look at masking, testing and vaccination – basically this should be our strategy.”

Highlighting that vaccinating our children is very important, Dr Lancelot Pinto, Hinduja Hospital added,

We need to know one thing that children are an important medium of transmission and although they don’t themselves get infected badly but there is a possibility that eventually when they start going out, they will become the carriers and will infect someone who is more vulnerable. However, another thing to look out for is the fact that the elder children are at higher risk, one who are obese or suffer from some or the other disease.

Also Read: Encourage Kids To Communicate During COVID To Minimise Negative Impact, Suggests AIIMS Doctor

Dr Pinto further said that we should not wait for the opening of schools till we vaccinate all our children as that will take time for now. He said, “Currently, we are looking at the approval of vaccines for children between the age group of 12 to 18 years. After that, we will have other age groups. This will take a lot of time and by then we will lose out a lot and there will be a hefty price we will have to pay.”

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 (WaterSanitation 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 pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

22,95,44,435Cases
19,20,52,504Active
3,27,83,741Recovered
47,08,190Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 22,95,44,435 and 47,08,190 have died; 19,20,52,504 are active cases and 3,27,83,741 have recovered as on September 22, 2021 at 3:49 am.

India

3,35,31,498 26,964Cases
3,01,9897,586Active
3,27,83,741 34,167Recovered
4,45,768 383Deaths
In India, there are 3,35,31,498 confirmed cases including 4,45,768 deaths. The number of active cases is 3,01,989 and 3,27,83,741 have recovered as on September 22, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,27,629 3,131

44,269 960

63,44,744 4,021

1,38,616 70

Kerala

45,39,926 15,768

1,61,765 5,813

43,54,264 21,367

23,897 214

Karnataka

29,69,361 818

13,769 617

29,17,944 1,414

37,648 21

Tamil Nadu

26,48,688 1,647

16,993 9

25,96,316 1,619

35,379 19

Andhra Pradesh

20,40,708 1,179

13,905 483

20,12,714 1,651

14,089 11

Uttar Pradesh

17,09,693 13

194 0

16,86,612 13

22,887

West Bengal

15,62,710 537

7,741 69

15,36,291 592

18,678 14

Delhi

14,38,556 39

400 21

14,13,071 18

25,085

Odisha

10,21,216 462

4,844 103

10,08,226 560

8,146 5

Chhattisgarh

10,05,120 26

297 0

9,91,260 26

13,563

Rajasthan

9,54,275 12

99 8

9,45,222 4

8,954

Gujarat

8,25,751 14

133 0

8,15,536 14

10,082

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,410 8

90 6

7,81,803 14

10,517

Haryana

7,70,754 8

328 12

7,60,618 20

9,808

Bihar

7,25,907 6

60 9

7,16,188 15

9,659

Telangana

6,63,906 244

4,938 53

6,55,061 296

3,907 1

Punjab

6,01,359 36

304 3

5,84,554 37

16,501 2

Assam

5,98,864 441

5,081 97

5,87,970 338

5,813 6

Jharkhand

3,48,139 14

65 10

3,42,941 4

5,133

Uttarakhand

3,43,405 12

249 18

3,35,765 29

7,391 1

Jammu And Kashmir

3,28,214 145

1,450 11

3,22,345 154

4,419 2

Himachal Pradesh

2,17,403 263

1,715 99

2,12,033 162

3,655 2

Goa

1,75,690 107

886 76

1,71,507 29

3,297 2

Puducherry

1,25,618 101

922 55

1,22,864 46

1,832

Manipur

1,18,870 197

2,174 9

1,14,861 203

1,835 3

Tripura

83,956 51

353 7

82,794 44

809

Mizoram

82,815 1,355

15,363 223

67,184 1,127

268 5

Meghalaya

79,817 150

1,878 18

76,558 167

1,381 1

Chandigarh

65,195 7

44 3

64,333 4

818

Arunachal Pradesh

54,190 64

413 3

53,504 60

273 1

Sikkim

31,014 43

627 27

30,007 70

380

Nagaland

30,959 52

470 3

29,832 46

657 3

Ladakh

20,743 6

144 6

20,392

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,670

0 0

10,666

4

Lakshadweep

10,360 1

9 1

10,300

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,607 7

17 4

7,461 3

129

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