Few countries have cleared Covid vaccines for children.
In anticipation of the arrival of a mutated variant, making minors vulnerable to COVID-19, India has begun the clinical trial of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin on children. The testing is being done at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Patna, Prasar Bharati said today in a tweet.
Covaxin is a vaccine indigenously developed by the Hyderabad-based company, in association with the Indian Council of Medical Research. It was one of the first two deployed by the Centre in its nationwide Covid inoculation drive.
The phase II/III clinical trials of Covaxin will be done on those aged between two and 18, senior NITI Aayog member VK Paul had announced last month, with the Centre giving its clearance on May 13. The trial was to be conducted on 525 subjects, according to him.
Most nations are yet to approve any vaccine for the use of children. Last month, the US and Canada authorised Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine for use in some age groups of children.
In India, leaders like Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had sought immediate measures from the Centre, after a new Covid variant was detected in Singapore. He had flagged a potential "third wave" which, he said, had proven dangerous for children.
"The new form of Corona that came to Singapore is being said to be extremely dangerous for children, in India it may come as a third wave. My appeal to the central government: 1. Air services with Singapore to be cancelled with immediate effect 2. Priority on vaccine options should be worked out for children, too," Mr Kejriwal had said.