Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) authorized the emergency use of two Covid-19 vaccines for children under the age of 12 years. They granted clearance to Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for 6-12 years and Biological E’s Corbevax for 5-12 years. Currently, India is only administering Covid-19 vaccines to those above 12 years — Corbevax for 12-14 years and Covaxin for 15-18 years. The drugs regulator also consented to a two-dose formulation of Zydus Cadila’s vaccine, ZyCov-D – originally a three-dose vaccine endorsed for 12 and above.
Presently, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, an inactivated whole virion vaccine developed in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research, is being administered in those aged 15 years and above, while Biological E’s Corbevax, a recombinant protein subunit vaccine developed in collaboration with the Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College, in the 12-15 years age group under the national Covid-19 immunization program.
Government officials said that the final decision on when to start jabbing children under 12 years of age in the national vaccination scheme will come after formal guidance made by the government’s National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) and the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC).
The DCGI on Tuesday also gave approval to Gujarat-based Zydus Cadila’s two-dose Covid-19 vaccine for the 12 years and above population. Currently, the three-dose version of ZyCoV-D is being utilized in the national vaccination drive for the adult population. This is the first Covid-19 vaccine built on a DNA platform and has been approved for commercial use.
Zydus declared the second dose will be administered after 28 days. It said the two-dose regimen was tested on 3,100 volunteers over 12 years of age. In its three-dose regimen, the vaccine is administered with a gap of 28 days between each jab.