The clinical trial of Bharat Biotech’s ‘Covaxin’, which is being used in the mega vaccination campaign against the ongoing coronavirus epidemic in the country, has started on children aged 2-18 years. This has started with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), located in Patna. This clinical trial is considered very important. The reason for this is that there is no vaccine for children in the country yet.
‘Covaxin’ got permission for trial on children last month.
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had on May 13 approved Bharat Biotech for ‘Covaxin’ trials on children and adolescents in the age group of 2-18 years. For this, the expert committee had recommended DCGI. After this, applications were invited from volunteers for the trial at AIIMS Patna only last week. According to the government’s announcements, the vaccine will be tested on 525 volunteers at many places across the country.
70-80 children expected to participate in the AIIMS Patna trial
Dr CM Singh of AIIMS Patna said they aim to include 70 to 80 children in clinical trials. He said that only those registered children would be allowed to participate whose reports would be negative in RT-PCR and antibody tests. In the trial, adolescents in the age group of 12 to 18 years will be vaccinated first, and then children in the age group of 6-12 years will be given the vaccine.
Trial on children will be done in these hospitals across the country.
Apart from AIIMS Patna, vaccine trials will be done on children in many other hospitals and medical institutions of the country. These include All India Institute of Medical Sciences Delhi, Basaidarapur ESI Hospital in Delhi, Prakhar Hospital, Kanpur, Mysore Medical College and Research Institute, Parnam Hospital in Hyderabad, and Meditrina Institute of Medical Sciences in Nagpur. All these hospitals and medical colleges have started preparing for clinical trials on children.
Experts call for vaccinating children amid fears of the third wave.
Many experts and opposition leaders have emphasised the need to vaccinate children in the country as well. This is mainly due to fears that the third wave of coronavirus may hit India after a few months, which, according to experts, could be more dangerous for children. Like the United States and Canada, some countries have allowed children to be vaccinated against coronavirus.
What is the status of the vaccination campaign in India?
The vaccination campaign against Coronavirus was started in India on 16 January. Under this campaign, 22,10,43,693 doses have been administered in the country so far. This is only three per cent of the total population of the country.24,26,265 doses were administered on Wednesday. The central government has set a target to vaccinate all Indian adults by the end of this year. However, experts have cast doubt on this.