Vaccination efforts against COVID-19 have been ramped up across the country. However, there is one age group that is unvaccinated and still vulnerable to COVID-19: children (individuals below the age of 18).
Although COVID-19 usually results in mild disease in children, some children are susceptible to MIS-C (Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children) post-COVID. Besides, children can transmit COVID-19 even if they have mild symptoms. Hence, the prevention of COVID-19 in children is equally important.
At present, all approved COVID-19 vaccines in India are meant for adults. Several vaccines for children have been reported to be under research and development.
Let’s find out about two such vaccines that are expected to be available soon.
COVID-19 Vaccines For Children in India
On August 20, 2021, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) gave Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for ZyCoV-D.
Developed by Zydus Cadila, ZyCov-D is the world’s first plasmid DNA vaccine for COVID-19. The DNA sequence produces the target antigen inside the body, and the body initiates an immune response to the antigen.
ZyCoV-D is the first Indian vaccine that is eligible for the age group of 12 to 18 years, apart from adults.
It is a three-dose vaccine, which will be administered on days 0, 28, and 56.
ZyCoV-D is a needle-free vaccine administered using an applicator for painless intradermal delivery.
The vaccine is expected to be rolled out in India in the next few weeks.
Covaxin was developed by Bharat Biotech International Limited, in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV).
It is an inactivated or killed vaccine, so it consists of virus particles that have been cultured in the laboratory and killed to destroy their disease-producing capacity.
It is a 2-dose vaccine given 28 days apart.
Covaxin is already being administered to adults across India for several months now.
On October 12, 2021, the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) approved the use of Covaxin for children in the age group of 2 to 18 years.
The DCGI’s final nod to the vaccine is awaited, after which it can be administered to children aged 2 to 18.
Experts have deemed all approved vaccines to be safe, so do not fall prey to misinformation. Get your child vaccinated when a vaccine is available, and make sure they continue to follow COVID-appropriate behaviour.
1. Pib.gov.in. 2021. Press Information Bureau. [online] Available at: <https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1747726> [Accessed 12 October 2021].
2. Bharatbiotech.com. 2021. COVAXIN - India's First Indigenous Covid-19 Vaccine | Bharat Biotech. [online] Available at: <https://www.bharatbiotech.com/covaxin.html> [Accessed 12 October 2021].
3. Zyduscadila.com. 2021. [online] Available at: <https://www.zyduscadila.com/public/pdf/Press-Release-Zydus-receives-EUA-from-DCGI-for-ZyCoV-D.pdf> [Accessed 12 October 2021].
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