Centre seeking scientific validation for COVID vaccine for children

However, Niti Aayog says that vaccinating children against COVID-19 is not a criteria for reopening of schools

Covid children
'Only a few nations have introduced vaccination for children, no WHO recommendation for it,' Niti Aayog said on Thursday | File Photo

The Niti Aayog has said the government is working in the direction of scientific validation of COVID vaccines for children.

“Only a few nations have introduced vaccination for children, no WHO recommendation for it… government is working actively in direction of scientific validation of our vaccines for potential use in children. Zydus vaccine already licensed for children,” Niti Aayog member (Health) V.K. Paul said.

However, he added that vaccinating children against COVID-19 is not a criteria for reopening of schools. 

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“Vaccinating children is not a condition for reopening schools. This criterion is not acceptable anywhere in the world, no scientific body, epidemiological evidence suggests it as a condition… However, vaccination of staff is desirable.”

Paul’s remarks come amidst rising demands to ensure vaccination of children before the reopening of schools in the country.

Phase 2/3 trials of Bharat Biotech’s nasal vaccine are likely to begin “within a couple of weeks” at AIIMS, New Delhi.

Paul said about 72 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far. “It’s clear that two doses show complete protection, 58 per cent above 18 years given single dose, it should be 100 per cent. No one should be left behind… About 72 crore vaccine doses given, those left should get administered to develop herd immunity,” he said.

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