Can’t lag behind on children’s protection, vaccines must: AIIMS COVID-19 task force chief

New Delhi: Amid the fear that the new COVID-19 strains could impact children more than what was observed earlier, medical experts are pushing for vaccination for them as early as possible.

AIIMS COVID-19 task force chief Dr Naveet Wig on Thursday (May 20) said as soon as the safety of vaccines are ensured, it would be administered to children.

“After the vaccine quantity and safety data are available for children, vaccines will be administered. We can’t be lagging behind for children’s protection. We don’t have to let the third wave come in,” Dr Wig, who is also the HoD of Medicine at AIIMS, was quoted as saying by ANI.

He called for dynamic policy strategies to deal with the virus that is evolving with time.

“We have to keep our test positivity rate low and keep changing our strategies all the time. No one formula will take care of this virus. Public support and education is most important,” he added.

Many countries around the world have started vaccinating children. Steps in this direction are being taken in India as well.

Bharat Biotech is set to begin the phase II and III clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin in children in the age group of 2 to 18 years in the next few days, according to Dr VK Paul, Member (Health), Niti Aayog.

“Covaxin has been approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), for Phase II/III clinical trials in the age group of 2 to 18 years. I have been told that trials will begin in the next 10-12 days,” Paul said during a press conference earlier this week.

Covaxin received the DCGI nod to conduct clinical trials in children on May 11.

However, a plea was filed in the Delhi High Court against the trials by Bharat Biotech.

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought the Centre’s response on the plea seeking to set aside the permission granted by the Drugs Controller General of India to Bharat Biotech for conducting the Phase 2/3 clinical trial of its Covaxin Covid-19 vaccine on the 2-18 age group.

A bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh refused to pass any interim order staying the permission granted as it issued notice to the DCGI, the Ministry of Women and Child Development and others.

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