Covaxin Second Dose Trial On Kids Between 2 And 6 Year Old To Begin At Delhi AIIMS By Next Week

Covaxin Second Dose Trial On Kids Between 2 And 6 Year Old To Begin At Delhi AIIMS By Next WeekBharat Biotech’s COVAXIN, India’s first indigenous vaccine against coronavirus. (Swarajya Magazine)
Snapshot
  • After children receive the second dose trial of Covaxin, an interim report is expected to be released in August to provide a clear picture of vaccination safety in youngsters.

The second dose trial of Bharat Biotech's Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin, for children aged 2 to 6 years will begin at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi by next week. Delhi's AIIMS is one of the trial sites for India's first homegrown Covid-19 jab, involving children under the age of 18.

The initial study was conducted in the 12 to 18-year-old age group, followed by trials in the 6 to 12-year-old and 2 to 6-year-old age groups. Since these trials are currently undergoing, the clinical study findings are expected to be available one month after the completion of the studies in all age groups. However, Dr Randeep Guleria, AIIMS director, had earlier said that the Covid-19 vaccine for children could be available in September this year.

The children were divided into age groups, and 175 youngsters from each group were involved in the trials. After they receive the second jab, an interim report is expected to be released in August that will provide a clear picture of vaccination safety in youngsters, said a report.

AIIMS Delhi; ESI Hospital, Basaidarapur (Delhi); AIIMS Patna; Prakhar Hospital in Kanpur; Mysore Medical College and Research Institute in Mysuru; Pranaam Hospital in Hyderabad; and Meditrina Institute of Medical Sciences in Nagpur are all participating in the multi-centre study to determine the immunogenicity of Covaxin involving over 500 children divided into three groups.

However, for parents, there are various benefits to having their children participate in these trials; one of which is easy access to a vaccine. Kapil Nema, who have two kids, told The Print, "I enrolled both my kids in Covaxin trials because the third wave is imminent and people are saying it will disproportionately affect children. Getting a vaccine for my kid then grants them safety against the virus. mRNA vaccines have been given to kids above 12 years in other countries and have proven to be safe. Compared to them, Covaxin's conventional formula is much safer".

Another parent of a 5-year-old participant said the vaccine developed by the Hyderabad-based company had been administered to a huge population, so he believes that it will be safe for his kid too. The parent said that "there was so much running around after the second wave just to get vaccinated. I don't want to run from pillar to post just to secure a vaccine slot for my kid. I think this is a better way to secure a vaccine and keep my kid safe".

Dr Sanjay Rai, who is overseeing the Covaxin trials at AIIMS Delhi and a professor at the Centre for Community Medicine in AIIMS, told The Print that so far, there is no safety concern regarding the vaccine. He said: "We faced no problems in recruitment and finished them within time. Parents are trusting in us and are happily volunteering their children".

Additionally, the healthcare professional said: "The vaccine has been successfully tested on adults and in all likelihood will be safe on kids as well. Mind you, most vaccines in the world are administered to small kids only. We follow ICMR's ethical guidelines while testing on kids and are giving them the same dose that we give to adults".

Meanwhile, the Centre informed the Delhi High Court that clinical trials of Covid-19 vaccines for children under the age of 18 are expected to be finished soon. Earlier, the government officials told the court that Zydus Cadila's DNA-based Covid-19 vaccine had completed its clinical trial for children aged 12 to 18.

The Centre said: "It is submitted that Zydus Cadila, which is developing DNA vaccines has concluded its clinical trial for between the age group of 12 to 18 and subject to the statutory permissions, the same may be available in near future for children of the age group of 12 to 18 years of age".

The government also stated that vaccination is a key priority for them and that all efforts are being made to attain a goal of 100 per cent immunisation in the shortest time feasible.

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