Covaxin Shows Strong Immune Response in Kids, Better Than in Adults: NTAGI Head
Children between the ages of 15 and 18 would be able to avail COVID-19 vaccination from 3 January.
Bharat Biotech's Covaxin has shown a very good immune response in children – even better than the one seen for adults, National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) Chairman Dr NK Arora said on Sunday, 26 December.
In an interview with news agency ANI, Dr Arora said:
"The point is that we have a vaccine, which is approved for children. Covaxin has shown that it has a very good immune response in children in trials. In fact, it is slightly better than adults. Secondly, this vaccine is a safe vaccine, and even local effects like pain, swelling in the arms is much less as compared to adults. We would like to offer this protection to our adolescents."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday had announced that children between the ages 15-18 would be able to avail COVID-19 vaccination from 3 January. The announcement came on the same day when Bharat Biotech-manufactured Covaxin received the Drug Controller General of India's (DCGI) emergency use approval for children aged 12-18.
'Two-Thirds of COVID-19 Deaths Were in 12-18 Age Group'
Dr Arora told ANI, "Children between the age of 12 and 18 years, particularly those in the age group of 15 to 18 years, are very much like adults. Our research within the country also says that almost two-thirds of the deaths which occurred due to COVID in India are within this age group. So, this decision was mainly taken to protect the adolescents."
He noted that vaccination of children would have positive effect, considering that they attend educational institutes and are more mobile, thereby increasing the risk of infection.
In addition to Covaxin, Zydus Cadila's three-dose DNA vaccine had also been approved for children over the age of 12 by the DCGI, previously.
Meanwhile, India on Monday reported 6,531 new COVID-19 cases. The country has reported 578 cases of the highly-transmissible Omicron variant so far.
(With inputs from ANI)
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