arora: Priority will be children with comorbidities in paediatric Covid-19 vaccine drive: NTAGI chief | India News


NEW DELHI: Once the Covid-19 vaccination campaign for children begins in India, priority will be given to children with comorbidities no matter how severe, said the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NTAGI) President Dr. NK Arora.
Dr. Arora said: “We are going to prioritize Covid-19 vaccination for children with comorbidities and severe comorbidities so that we immunize them immediately and the rest of the children who are healthy can be immunized later.”
Speaking about how to prioritize vaccinating children, Dr. Arora stated: “We are working on that and we are trying to identify those who are most at risk for severe disease and in need of hospitalization. In the next two weeks.” . , the list will be available in the public domain. In addition, we are also making arrangements in different parts of the country so that these children do not have to travel and within their district, the vaccine is available. ”
In early August, the Comptroller General of Drugs of India (DCGI) had approved Zydus cadilaDNA vaccine for emergency use in adults and children 12 years of age and older. Now, the vaccines are waiting to be introduced into the national vaccination program.
In June, the WHO-AIIMS in a joint survey found that seroprevalence was 55.7% in the age group under 18 years and 63.5% in the age group 18 years and over.
Furthermore, the study noted that there was no statistically significant difference in prevalence between adults and children.
In early September, schools in the national capital for classes 9 to 12 reopened after a prolonged closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the context of the reopening of the school, Dr. Arora said: “Children are vectors. They transmit the infection, but they themselves do not become infected. Therefore, it is important that the adults around them, whether family members, teachers, non-teaching staff – they need to be immunized and surrounded by a ring of protection. ”
In addition, he stated: “Our national goal is to immunize all adults. We have reached half of the milestone. Once adults are immunized, we have about 44 million million children under 18 years of age and we are prepared to vaccinate the children at the same time. speed. ”
According to Dr. Arora, the seropositivity results show an almost similar level of exposure to the virus, however, symptomatic infection of the disease or severe illness is very rare in children, especially those under the age of ten.
“In fact, there are some estimates that, compared to those over 18 years of age, the risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death is almost 1/15 of those older than adults,” noted Dr. Arora.
Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan At a press conference, he declared that Zydus Cadila’s Covid-19 vaccine will soon be introduced into the national vaccination program.
ZyCoV-D It is a needle-free vaccine manufactured by Ahmedabad-based Zydus Cadila. To date, this is the only vaccine that has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for use in children 12 to 18 years of age.
In addition, India is also preparing other pediatric vaccines so that we can immunize the rest of the child population. In the Covaxin trial, patient recruitment ended and the result should be available this year. Novavax’s Covid-19 vaccine, Covovax by Serum Institute of India (IBS) that is five to 17 years old is in process and there will be another vaccine for childhood immunization. By the end of the year, all these results will be available so that when we enter next year, we will have two or three options for our child population, ”said Dr. Arora.

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