The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) gave an emergency use license to Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN for 6-12 years and Biological E’s CORBEVAX for 5-12 years on Tuesday, paving the way for the implementation of the COVID-19 immunization push for children under the age of 12. Furthermore, the Zydus Cadila vaccine (ZycovD) received approval for its two-dose vaccine for children aged 12 and up.
The government’s expert panel on Covid-19 immunization will make the ultimate decision. Currently, COVID-19 vaccinations are exclusively given to children over the age of 12 — CORBEVAX for children aged 12 to 14, and COVAXIN for children aged 15 to 18.
The approval by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) follows recommendations from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation’s Subject Expert Committee (SEC) on Covid-19 (CDSCO).
Developments so far:
- CORBEVAX received an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) in February 2022 for children aged 12 to 18.
- It is now being used to inoculate youngsters aged 12 to 14 years against Covid-19.
- On December 24, last year, the DCGI issued COVAXIN Emergency Use Listing (EUL) for the age group of 12 to 18 years.
- Currently, the vaccine is only available to children over the age of 15 as part of a nationwide immunization campaign.
- ZycovD, which will now be given on days 0 and 28, was previously approved as a three-dose regimen that would have been given on days 0, 28, and 56.
- The DCGI has previously approved the Serum Institute of India’s Covid-19 vaccine COVOVAX for use in children aged 12 to 17 years.
- The measure clears the way for a majority of school-aged children to be protected at a time when coronavirus infections are on the rise in numerous parts of the country.
- Children under the age of 12 are at a higher risk of infection because they have not yet developed immunity.
- Covid-19 vaccines for minors have been available in India since 3 January for individuals aged 15 to 18.
- On March 16, the drive was expanded to include youngsters aged 12 and up.
- The first dose of the Covid-19 vaccination has been given to around 2.70 crore adolescents so far.