Will go by scientific rationale on vaccination for kids: Govt

The US and UK among the first countries to inoculate adolescents against Covid

Will go by scientific rationale on vaccination for kids: Govt

The government is proceeding cautiously on the issue of vaccinating children against Covid-19 with the World Health Organisation guidance on the issue also awaited.

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 17

The government is proceeding cautiously on the issue of vaccinating children against Covid-19 with the World Health Organisation guidance on the issue also awaited.

Top Health Ministry sources today said the government was proceeding highly cautiously with respect to inoculating children, while the adult vaccination drive was yet to achieve its target of covering all 93 crore people above the age of 18 years with both doses.

“A lot of expert opinion is needed to roll out vaccinations for children, and as far as booster doses go, we should not even venture there yet,” a top government source said on Sunday amid fears of a third wave.

Chairperson of the National Covid-19 Vaccine Administration Task Force VK Paul said today that scientific rationale and vaccine availability would guide the child inoculation strategy of India.

Paul said a balance between vaccine availability and prioritisation for children could be the way forward but research in this respect was being studied. The subject experts of the national drug regulator recently recommended the emergency use authorisation of Covaxin in 2 to 18-year-olds. The Drug Controller General of India’s approval is awaited.

ZyCov-D was earlier approved by the drug regulator for emergency use in persons above 12 years. The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, India’s apex body guiding vaccine plans nationally, is currently studying how to roll out ZyCov-D and whether to prioritise adolescents (12 to 18-year-olds) for inoculation by first covering those with comorbid conditions.

The US and UK were among the first countries to inoculate adolescents against Covid.

The larger view in the research community is that children have greater natural immunity to viruses than adults and may therefore not need the same level of vaccine outreach as adults.

The issue is being extensively researched worldwide.

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