September 21, 2021

The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH

The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH

Govt plans Covid vaccines for comorbid kids aged 12-17 by October-November

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Govt plans Covid vaccines for comorbid kids aged 12-17 by October-November
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Govt plans Covid vaccines for comorbid kids aged 12-17 by October-November
Govt plans Covid vaccines for comorbid kids aged 12-17 by October-November

NEW DELHI: The government plans to begin Covid vaccination of children in the 12-17 age group who have co-morbidities like obesity, heart disorders, or immunodeficiency by October-November, official sources said.
The plan keeps in mind that supplies of Zydus Cadila’s DNA vaccine ZyCoV-D — the only one to have received emergency authorisation for use in children in the country so far — are likely to begin in October.
“We are waiting for Zydus to begin supplies. Once that starts we will initiate vaccination among children. This year, only those with co-morbidities will receive the vaccine doses, rest will start getting it from the first quarter of next year,” a senior official told TOI.
Around 20-30 lakh children with co-morbidities will be eligible for the first round of vaccination, according to government estimates.
Zydus is expected to supply around 40 lakh doses in the first lot, and scale it up to one crore every month going forward. The government is expecting that the company will be able to supply around 4-5 crore doses by December. ZyCoV-D is a three dose vaccine.
The government expects to further expand coverage among children by March next year, when more vaccines are available for them.
Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin is also being tested for use in children and clinical trials are nearing completion, according to regulatory officials. Once Covaxin gets emergency authorisation for use in children, it can be administered to all those above two years.
There are also other vaccine candidates from Biological E and Serum Institute of India that have recently got approval for clinical trials in children.
Overall, there are an estimated 44 crore children aged under 18. Of this, around 12 crore are in the age group of 12-17 years, who are likely to be first in line to receive the vaccines. However, given the limited supplies, the government has decided to further prioritise those with co-morbidities in this age group as they are vulnerable to the infection.
The government is also of the view that once majority of the adult population gets at least the first dose of the anti-Covid jabs, they can start with children — who are now more in focus with re-opening of schools and other related activities that were under lockdown since March 2020 due to Covid-19 outbreak in the country.

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