The All India Medical Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is expected to start screening of children for clinical trials of India-made Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin from Monday. Last week, AIIMS Patna started a similar trial for Bharat Biotech’s children aged between 12 and 18.
After getting permission from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), AIIMS Delhi is now starting the screening process before starting the actual trials, news agency ANI reported.
Experts have warned that a possible third wave can bring as much devastation as the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic if enough people are not vaccinated against the virus and that children could be its prime target, reported NDTV.
However, the vaccines being used in India – Covaxin, Covishield and Sputnik V – have not been approved for use on children.
India started the world’s largest vaccination drive on January 16 this year in a phased manner with healthcare workers getting inoculated first. The vaccination of frontline workers started on February 2.
The next phase of Covid-19 vaccination commenced from March 1 for those over 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions. India launched vaccination for all people aged more than 45 from April 1.
The third phase of the vaccination started on May 1 for the beneficiary aged between 18-44.
India has three Covid-19 vaccine – Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, AstraZeneca’s Covishield and Russia’s Sputnik V. Covaxin and Covishield are being manufactured in India.
(Inputs from PTI, NDTV)