Norms to vaccinate kids needed: Experts | India News


MUMBAI: After nearly nine months since India began inoculating its adult population against COVID-19, the wait for children’s vaccinations seems to be over. But without any guidance from the Center for vaccinating the pediatric age group, the wait could be a bit longer, experts say.
Zydus Cadila’s DNA-based needle-free vaccine is approved for the age group 12-17 years, and Bharat Biotech on Tuesday he came one step closer with the expert committee that recommended the authorization of emergency use for Covaxin for the age group 2 to 17 years. Now, only the approval of the drug regulator is awaited.
“These approvals and recommendations are fine, but the Center has not yet published guidelines for vaccinating the pediatric age group,” said a physician.
Even when 93% of Mumbai ‘s 93.2 lakh adult population have received the first dose, the pediatric group comprising almost 30 lakh will have to wait longer to receive their injections.
In addition, companies will need time to manufacture doses. “We do not know if the children will need one or two injections, if the doses will be diluted or the vials will be smaller,” said the doctor.
BMC officials said pediatric vaccination could begin as soon as a week after the guidelines are released.
Additional Commissioner of BMC Suresh Kakani He said that if the guidelines remain the same as for adults, the process could begin soon. “Otherwise, we will have to establish new centers and train our staff before starting any pediatric campaign,” he said.
One doctor said the rules would have to answer questions such as whether pediatric vaccination centers should be located within hospitals, where emergency care is available, or in neutral locations that do not intimidate the child.
While pediatric vaccination has been a topic of debate in India, many countries, including the United States and France, have begun vaccinating children older than 12 years. Apart from the Zydus and Bharat Biotech vaccines, Covovax is the third vaccine to be tested in children in India. It will be manufactured by Serum Institute of India.

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