Covaxin Covid vaccine for children: Here's what expert says on trial results

By Livemint
A health worker prepares to administer a dose of Covaxin (AP)

The safety and immunogenicity of India's Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin are almost the same in children as in adults above 18 years of age, reported news agency ANI quoting an AIIMS professor. 

“Covaxin's trial was done on three age groups. The first group examined was between 12 -18 years, the second group was between 6- 12 years and the third age group was between 2-6 years," said Dr Sanjay K Rai, a professor at the Centre for Community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

Notably, Rai was the principal investigator of Covaxin trials on children.

"At first, we finished the examination of people aged between 12- 18 years and then subsequently other groups. Covaxin's vaccine safety and immunogenicity are almost the same. However, the final results of these trials are awaited. We had already carried out trials on the adult population. For children, we are waiting for the results," said the doctor.

Rai noted that globally it is observed that SARS-CoV-2 isn't fatal in children.

"Only a very mild infection is present. In a few children, it's milder than the common cold. Currently, we don't have any justification on whether Zydus Cadila, Bharat Biotech, Pfizer or Moderna...which is the mildest. These vaccines are reducing the severity of the infection but not the infection," he said.

This comes even as AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria said earlier this month that children between 12 to 18 years of age will be vaccinated against Covid-19 very soon, adding that the current priority is to vaccinate those who can have severe diseases.

"As we know that children mostly have mild diseases, so due to the limited supply of the vaccination, we are prioritising those people who can have severe disease," he said.

"Children will also get vaccinated very soon because that's the only way to get rid of the pandemic," added AIIMS Director.

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