Speaking in the Lok Sabha on Friday, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that the decisions on booster dose of vaccine against Covid-19 and vaccination of kids will be taken after scientific advise.
Earlier, the Opposition had demanded that that the government should inform the House about the roadmap to vaccinations. In response, the government said five vaccines have been cleared for clinical trial in India.
Children's Vaccination Roadmap
The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has granted permission to conduct a clinical trial of five Covid-19 vaccines in children and adolescents, said Bharati Pravin Pawar, Minister of state in the Union Health Ministry.
However, there's no timeline announced so far, leaving many parents anguished about the rollout plan of the vaccine for children with the cases of the Omicron variant making a sudden surge all over the country.
5 vaccines given nod
So far, five vaccines are given approval for trial in India -- Cadila Healthcare's ZyCoV-D, Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, Serum Institute's Covovax, Biological E's RBD, and Johnson & Johnson and Ad 26COV.2S vaccine, the minister told parliament on Friday. These five Covid-19 vaccines will "soon" be ready for children aged above 2, the minister said.
Even the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the approval authority on Covid vaccines, has not given any timeline as its director-general Balram Bhargava on Nov 21 said, "India is closely watching" the progress of Covid vaccination among children in other countries conducting the same trial.
"Some countries are vaccinating children in age brackets such as between 15 and 18 years and we are closely monitoring the development there. We know kids are protected as 62% of them showed immunity against the virus in India," he said without specifying any date for the Covid vaccination among children in India.
Meanwhile, Bharat biotech is conducting a Phase II/III clinical trial of Covaxin on kids aged 5 to 18 years and has submitted interim safety and immunogenicity data, the minister informed the House on Friday.
Even the Serum Institute of India is conducting Phase II/III clinical trial of nanoparticle vaccine (Liquid) (COVOVAX) in 920 subjects of more than 2 years to 17 years age group and Johnson & Johnson is conducting a trial of its Ad 26COV.2S vaccine in the age group of 12-17 years.