NITI Aayog member VK Paul announced on Tuesday, 18 May, that Phase II/III clinical trials of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, in the two to 18 age group will begin in the next 10 to 12 days.
The Health Ministry had announced on 11 May, that the proposal was deliberated in the Subject Expert Committee (SEC). On 13 May, India gave clearance for trials for the under 18 age group.
525 children will be a part of the trial at various sites, ANI reported.
So far, only United States and Canada have approved a vaccine for the use of children. Last week, the US authorised Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in children aged between 12 and 15 years. Canada has also approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in children aged 12 years and above.
New Variant Detected in Singapore
A new COVID variant detected in Singapore was flagged by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal earlier on Tuesday.
He stressed that the variant is proving to be dangerous for children and argued that it can “come as a third wave” in India. Following which Kejriwal appealed to the Central government to take immediate measures.
Kejriwal said in a tweet in Hindi, “The new strain of COVID that came to Singapore is being said to be extremely dangerous for children. It could come in India as a third wave.”
Kejriwal appealed to the Central government saying:
- Air services with Singapore to be cancelled with immediate effect
- Priority on vaccine options should be worked out for children too
While the second wave of COVID has wreaked havoc in India, the Union Health Ministry said that India reported 4,22,436 recoveries in the last 24 hours, the highest-ever for the country. The ministry added, “A clear positive trend can be observed in COVID-19 recoveries.”
India on Tuesday, 18 May, reported 2,63,533 new coronavirus cases, 4,22,436 discharges, and 4,329 deaths.
(With inputs from ANI)