To keep the speculated third wave of COVID at bay, the central government is taking adequate measures to ensure preparedness. In an effort to launch vaccines for children, the Drugs Controller General of India is reportedly examining pharmaceutical major Zydus Cadila's COVID vaccine for children, NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul announced on Friday.

 Speaking to ANI on this, Dr VK Paul, said "We are moving towards a set target to administer 50 crore doses before July. We are on the path to achieving it. The government has ordered 66 crore doses of Covishield and Covaxin. Additionally, 22 crore doses will go to the private sector."

Talking about its availability,  Dr VK Paul said, “the Subject Expert Committee of DCGI is examining the matter,” and assured that the vaccine will be made available soon for the children in India as well." DCGI is examining it. More data is needed. The scientific process has to be completed. We have to be lucky that it should be effective and safe," added Dr Paul.

While talking about Zydus Cadila’s vaccine, he also asserted that the Centre has set the target to administer 50 crore doses of COVID vaccine before the month of July and is in touch with several manufacturers to achieve the target. 

On Friday, the Delhi High Court stressed the safety of the COVID  vaccines and asserted that they should be thoroughly tested before being given a nod for administration.  The court said, “If COVID-19 vaccines are administered to children without proper research then it may be a disaster.” The court made its observation while objecting to the submission of the petitioner seeking research on vaccines for children in a time-bound manner.

It was pronounced by a division bench comprising Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh, earlier in the day. However, Centre has submitted an affidavit and has told the Court that pharmaceutical major Zydus Cadila's COVID vaccine may be available in the near future for children in the age group of 12 to 18 years.

Zydus Cadila’s COVID Vaccine for Children 

Zydus Cadila has concluded its trial for children between the age group of 12 to 18 and is submitted with the authorities or statutory research and permissions, the centre has mentioned in the affidavit. The Ahmedabad-based pharmaceutical firm had moved its request to DCGI to grant emergency use approval for the firm’s  ZyCoV-D vaccine. The vaccine being developed for children will be a three-dose COVID shot and will be the world's first Plasmid DNA vaccine.

Earlier this month, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had visited the COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing facilities of Zydus Cadila and Hester Biosciences in Gujarat to check the development of the vaccine. Zydus expects to produce one crore vaccine doses per month from August onwards, after getting the green nod from top authorities. The development of a vaccine for children will significantly improve India’s vaccination rate and will boost India’s fight against the unprecedented pandemic.

(With ANI Inputs)

(Image: AP)

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