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AIIMS Delhi begins screening children for clinical trials of Covaxin

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AIIMS Delhi has started screening children for trial of Bharat Biotech’s coronavirus vaccine on those aged between 2 aand 18 on Monday. Similar trials have already begun at AIIMS Patna to see if Covaxin is suitable for children. The vaccine is currently only being administered on adults above the age of 18 as part of India’s inoculation drive.

After the screening report, 525 participants will be given the vaccine in two doses 28 days apart.

“The screening of children for conducting trial of Covaxin has started. Participants would be given the vaccine after their screening reports come,” Dr Sanjay Rai, Professor at the Centre for Community Medicine at AIIMS, said.

Permission for the phase 2-3 trials of India’s first indigenously developed vaccine was granted by India’s drug regulator on May 12. The government has cautioned that the pandemic could impact children if the virus mutates and preparations will be strengthened to deal with any such situation.

NITI Aayog’s VK Paul said in a press conference that India’s national expert group will take an updated view of the Covid situation in the country.

“Child cohort is not a small cohort. My rough guess is that if it is between 12 to 18 years, this itself is about 13 to 14 crore population and for which we will need about 25-26 crore doses. We cannot have some people getting and others not getting. So we will have to take this into account when we strategise and make a decision based on how many doses of which vaccines are available,” Paul said.

Vaccine developed by Zydus Cadila is also being tested for children and hopefully in two weeks, there will be enough data to asses if the vaccine is suitable for children, said Paul.



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