Tests to be done in 3 cohorts of 2-6, 6-12 & 12-18; last set gets first jab
In an attempt to join countries that have already approved Covid-19 vaccination for children, India has commenced multi-centre trials to test safety and efficacy of using Covaxin on those between 2 and 18 years of age.
The trials will be conducted in three age groups — 12-18 years, 6-12 and 2-6. In each age group, 175 volunteers will be recruited across 10 centres in six cities — Hyderabad, Kanpur, Mysuru, Nagpur, New Delhi and Patna.
Many European countries besides the US, Canada, Chile, Japan, the Philippines, and Singapore have already started inoculating the younger population. Others such as Norway, Switzerland and the UK are in the process of giving approvals to the same.
AIIMS gives first dose
At the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) New Delhi, the first dose of Covaxin has already been administered to a set of trial participants in 12-18 age group, while candidate screening is on for the 6-12 year set. Volunteers for the 2-6 year cohort will be selected next week, a source privy to the matter told BusinessLine.
“In Bihar 28 children in the 12-18 age group have received their first dose. Two children in the age group of 6-12 have received their first dose and the remaining will get it this week based on the monitoring report. Trial on the 2-6 age group w-ill begin next week,” one source said.
According to sources, in Karnataka at Cheluvambha Hospital affiliated to Mysore Medical College and Research Institute, the first dose was administered for the 12-18-year group on June 6 and the next jab will be given in July first week.
Trials soon for other 2 sets
“We are yet to get approval for trials on 6-12 and 2-6 age groups from the Drugs Controller General of India,” a Karnataka-based source told BusinessLin.
Apart from AIIMS Delhi and Patna, and Cheluvambha Hospital, Meditrina Institute of Medical Sciences in Nagpur, Prakhar Hospital in Kanpur, and Pranam Hospitals in Hyderabad are participating.
VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, had recently said that apart from Covaxin, the Zydus Cadila vaccine is also being considered for children.