New Delhi: A lot of questions have been circulating around the COVID-19 vaccine ever since it was announced in India. While people of all age groups can be vaccinated in some countries, in India the kids still don’t get to take the jab.

COVID-19 vaccine for children is likely to be available by August, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said at the BJP parliamentary party meeting on Tuesday, 27 July.

“We would likely begin vaccinating children from next month,” the health minister reportedly said during the meeting, ANI reported.

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The statement has come when questions and concerns over the impact of the possible third wave of COVID-19 on children are increasing. As of now, every citizen who is 18 or above is eligible for the vaccine shot.

What vaccines can kids take in India?

In India, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Zydus Cadila’s are in the trial phase. AIIMS Chief Dr Randeep Guleria told ANI that the final results of Covaxin trials are expected by September.

The vaccine trials are being conducted in three phases, as per the age of the children. The first trial was conducted in the age group of 12 to 18 years, followed by the age group of 6 to 12. Currently, trials for the ages of 2-6 years are underway.

Zydus Cadila, the Ahmedabad-based company, has concluded its trial for the 12 to 18 years group and has asked for emergency use authorisation (EUA) of its plasmid DNA vaccine.

Dr Guleria said that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can also be an option for children in India, once it gets approval, reported India Today.

Is it safe for the kids to take the vaccine?

Vaccines such as mRNA vaccines made by Moderna and Pfizer–BioNTech, and two Chinese vaccines made by Sinovac and Sinopharm have been tested in kids over the age of 12 and declared safe.

In India, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Zydus Cadila’s vaccine are in the trial phase and will likely get approval by the end of this month.

If approved, children in the age group of 12 to 17 would be the first ones to get their shot. According to the health ministry, vaccination would likely begin in August.

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