Fully homegrown COVID-19 Vaccine, Covaxin, approved for use in Children
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COVID-19 Prevention, Control, and Treatment
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Fully homegrown COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin, approved for kids, aged 2-18 years of age
The emergency approval granted for the use of Covaxin in the pediatric population in India has been hailed, according to Times of India, as a much-needed welcome step, which could protect children from the dangers of a lurking third wave. According to the report, the SEC (Committee on Subject Experts) has recommended authorizing the use of the vaccine in children aged 218 years, which will be subject to further review by the DGCI.
Now, not only is Covaxin a fully homegrown vaccine, many feel that since the vaccine is already pushed into use, the immunization drive for kids could be kickstarted earlier than expected. But when will kids actually get their hands on the COVID-19 vaccine in India? If yes, would there also be conditions and prioritizations to be followed? Here’s all that we can expect with Covaxin approved for use by kids:
The third wave of the coronavirus, which is expected to escalate at any time after the holiday season, is said to be a major threat to children, with many studies predicting there could be a spike in pediatric cases as cases peak. Schools have also opened. Of course, this problem is becoming more dangerous because of children in India.
While the approval and ready availability of Covaxin resources make the process easier as of Tuesday, 14th October, there is yet no official confirmation on when we could actually see kids getting immunized. However, prior to the approval of the vaccine, there are reports which suggest that further action and approvals for kids vaccination were expected to come soon
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The current use of Covaxin has been authorized for emergency use in India and not full access. EUA refers to a mechanism by which authorities allow the use of certain vaccines and drugs in life-threatening emergencies (such as COVID), after reviewing clinical studies and laboratory data.
While Covaxin was still being critically studied in its final phase, the required UAA has been assigned to a risk vs benefit assessment. This is also the same way most other vaccines have been pushed for use, including the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines made for children.
Covaxin Approval: COVID-19 Vaccines Available for use in India
Now, while Covaxin is the first vaccine officially approved for pediatric use, there are also several other vaccines planned to inoculate susceptible children in India. Zydus Cadila’s needle-free DNA vaccine, ZyCOVD, is one such vaccine, which has been given selective instructions for use in children over 12 years of age. However, trials are still ongoing and it may take longer to wait for a vaccine to emerge. Other vaccine candidates considered for pediatric use include Corbevex and Covovax. Both vaccines received the green light to conduct temporary trials in 714-year-olds.
According to the recommendations of the Subject Expert Committee (SEC), the developers of Covaxin, Bharat Biotech must follow certain terms and conditions that must be followed if their vaccine is to be used on children. Bharat Biotech must not only continue studies based on inactivated coronavirus strains (used in vaccines), but also must provide the necessary data on information sheets, product characteristics, AEFI, and AEFI data every 15 days for the first two months. This will help authorities monitor whether the vaccine is safe and effective in the long term.
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