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Children in India to receive COVID-19 vaccine from October

Published on 22/09/21 at 03:15pm

 

All Indian children aged 12 or older will become eligible for their COVID-19 vaccinations from next month, in the form of ZyCoV-D, the world’s first DNA-based COVID-19 vaccine, as two sources told Reuters. The indigenously developed vaccine received Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) last month from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI).

ZyCoV-D is a three-dose intradermal vaccine, applied using The PharmaJet needle-free system, Tropis. Zydus Cadila will produce 10 million doses a month to ensure quick and efficient deployment.

 

Niti Aayog Health member Dr VK Paul has also recently commented that the ZyCoV-D vaccine’s price will be announced soon. Paul also remarked that more attention should be focused on vaccinating children as well as adults.

Vaccinating children in particular is important for combatting the rapid spread of the disease. In July, experts said that children may not be severely affected by COVID-19, however, the majority of countries around the world have chosen to vaccinate younger populations. The general consensus follows that children would be among the worst affected in the event of a third wave.

India has administered more than 790 million doses of the three approved jabs. The country’s vaccine drive saw a record-breaking surge on Friday, when over 20 million COVID-19 vaccine doses were given to mark PM Narendra Modi’s 71st birthday.

India’s daily cases are also dropping, and they have been reporting under 40,000 new daily cases in the past month, most of which are from the area of Kerala. Despite this encouraging news, experts say that vaccination rates need to rise consistently in order to meet India’s long term goals.

A senior government official said, “We are waiting for guidelines from the panel of experts on vaccination for kids and adolescents. Once they release the guidelines, we can open up vaccination drive for youngsters as well.” 

Lina Adams

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