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FAQ | DCGI Approves Covovax COVID Vaccine for Kids Above 7 Years: What to Know

Serum Institute of India's COVID vaccine Covovax was approved by the DCGI for use in children aged 7 and older.

Updated
Fit
3 min read
FAQ | DCGI Approves Covovax COVID Vaccine for Kids Above 7 Years: What to Know
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The Drugs Controller General of India approved the emergency use of Serum Institute of India's Covovax COVID-19 vaccine for children in the age group of 7-11 on Tuesday, 28 June.

The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) has approved Serum Institute of India's COVID-19 vaccine Covovax for children between the ages of 12 and 17 on 29 April.

Covovax was granted authorisation by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for use in this age group on 9 March.

The vaccine got the World Health Organization's approval back on 17 December 2021.

NTAGI's go ahead means the vaccine can now be made available to the public.

How much do we know about Covovax for kids aged 12 to 17? When will it be available in the market?

FIT Answers your FAQs.

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How does Covovax work?

The vaccine was developed by US Biotech company, Novavax.

It is a recombinant nanoparticle protein-based vaccine.

Nanoparticles that mimic the spike protein are introduced to the recipient.

This spike protein acts as a “signal,” to the immune system. This, mixed with another adjuvant to amplify this signal, increases the activity of your immune system when you receive a vaccine.

The version that's being produced by Serum Institute of India is called Covovax. This is the version that has been approved for kids over 12 in the country.

It is a two-dose vaccine just like the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Covaxin Vaccines.

What do we know about the vaccine's efficacy in this age group?

According to the Serum Institute of India, Covovax was found to be safe and effective in Phase 2/3, observer-blind, randomized, controlled study in Indian children between 12 and 17 years of age.

SII added that there were no causality related serious adverse events (SAEs) in the clinical trials conducted in children.

According to the WHO, the vaccine was found to be 90 percent effective in preventing severe illness and hospitalisation.

Are there any other vaccines available to this age group?

Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and Biological E's Corbevax were both approved for this age group.

Covaxin is being offered to 15 to 18 year olds under the Government's national inoculation drive, while 12 to 14 year olds are being administered only Corbevax as of now.

How is Covovax different from Corbevax?

Covovax, like Corbevax, the other COVID-19 vaccine being administered to children over the age of 12, is a recombinant protein vaccine.

While Corbevax is a recombinant protein subunit vaccine, Covovax is a recombinant nanoparticle vaccine.

Apart from the slight difference in the way the vaccines are developed, both Covovax and Corbevax target the virus' spike protein and are administered similarly.

Corbevax for this age group is being sold at ₹990 in private facilities, and available free of charge in government clinics.

Covovax, on the other hand, will reportedly be sold at ₹900 in private clinics.

What is the dosage going to be like?

The dosage for kids and adults is the same. Covovax for children will be administered in 2 doses, with a gap of 3 weeks between the two.

When will the vaccine be rolled out for kids over 12?

There has been no official update from the government on when the vaccine will be rolled out for 12 to 17-year-olds.

Approval from the NTAGI, however, means that Covovax can now be rolled out in private clinical outside the national inoculation drive.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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