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India could get its anti-covid vaccine for children in September: AIIMS director

India could get its anti-covid vaccine for children in September
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India could get its anti-covid vaccine for children in September: AIIMS director

AIIMS, director Dr Randeep Guleria has said that Bharat Biotech’s anti-covid vaccine, Covaxin, is expected to be approved for children by September soon after the completion of phas2/3 clinical trials.

Speaking with India Today, the AIIMS director said,”After the completion of the second and third phase of trials of Covaxin for children, the trial data would be made available by September and the vaccine itself is likely to be approved in the same month”. Dr Guleria added that the Pfizer-BioNTech shot, if approved in India, could be another alternative for children to be vaccinated with.
Last month, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approves Bharat Biotech plea to conduct phase 2 and 3 trials for children.

Also Read: Pfizer in final stages of agreement to supply vaccine doses to India: CEO

AIIMS Delhi and Patna have started screening children, aged between 2 and 17, for these trials. Dr Guleria’s comments come at a time when several experts have projected that a potential third Covid-19 wave could affect children.

Dr Guleria, however, disagreed that children will be particularly impacted by a potential third wave, saying there is “no reason to believe this theory.” Recently, a study undertaken by AIIMS-World Health Organization (WHO) found high sero-positivity among children. The initial findings indicate that the third wave “may not hit children disproportionately.”

Earlier, he had warned that India could get hit by a third COVID-19 wave in the next six to eight weeks if appropriate protocols are not followed.

Also Read: Covaxin: Bharat Biotech submits phase 3 trial data; DCGI expert panel meet today

Speaking with PTI, he said, “If Covid-appropriate behaviour is not followed, the third wave can happen in six to eight weeks,” adding that the country needs to work aggressively to prevent another large wave until vaccination kicks in. The second wave had hit India in April and May that led to an unprecedented spike in daily COVID-19 cases, forces states and union territories (UTs) to impose complete lockdown.

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