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4 Covid vaccines in pipeline for children

by Pragati Singh

On Tuesday, an expert panel reviewing vaccine approvals recommended that Bharat Biotech’s indigenous Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin be granted emergency use authorization for children aged two to eighteen years.

The recommendation is a step closer to the release of a Covid-19 vaccine for children ahead of the festival season and amid fears of a third wave of infection. The final approval, however, is still pending, and will be granted by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).

According to people familiar with the situation, that step is expected to be completed within days.

Union minister of state for health and family welfare Bharati Pravin Pawar on Tuesday said that evaluation of Covid-19 vaccine for children is under progress. “The process is on and we don’t interfere in this matter. Will go ahead after discussions with experts,” the minister said.

There are so far only four vaccines on the horizon for children. These are:

ZvCoV-D by Zydus Cadila: Approved for use in age groups 12 and above, in line with trials. However, it has not been included as part of the vaccination drive. Indigenously developed and needle-free ZyCoV-D has received EUA from the drug regulator, making it the first vaccine to be administered in the age group of 12-18 years in the country.

Covaxin by Bharat Biotech: Recommended for use in ages 2 and above. This vaccine has also not yet been included as part of the vaccination drive.

Corbevax by Biological E: This vaccine has been cleared for trials in children aged 5-18. The vaccine has been developed with support from the Department of Biotechnology and its PSU Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) from the preclinical stage to phase 3 studies.

Covovax by Serum Institute of India (SII): It has been cleared for trials in children aged 2-18. It is the Indian version of the Novovax vaccine brought in India by the SII for children. The company’s chief Adar Poonawalla said last month that he expects Covovax to be approved for those below 18 years in January or February next year.

 

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