New Delhi: Vaccination of children in 12-18 years age group will start by September with the Zydus vaccine, Dr. NK Arora, who heads the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration told a leading portal. Arora also informed that the emergency use authorisation (EUA) for the Zydus vaccine will happen in the coming weeks. His statement comes as a great relief for parents ahead of the possible third wave of the corona, which is likely to impact the children more severely.Also Read - BREAKING: Zydus Cadila Applies For Emergency Use Nod From DCGI For Launch of Its Covid Vaccine For 12+ Age

“Covaxin phase 3 trials have started and by the end of September, I think we should be there (begin vaccination). I think sometime in the third quarter or by early January-February we should be able to give it to 2 to 18-year-olds. But trial data for Zydus Cadila for 12 to 18-year-olds will be available even before that,” NDTV quoted Dr Arora as saying. Also Read - Good News For Children: Zydus Cadila Covid-19 Vaccine For 12-18 Age Group to be Available Soon, Centre Tells Supreme Court

He asserted that the issue of school reopening and other things are very important and those are being discussed actively. Also Read - How is Zydus Cadila's ZyCoV-D Covid Vaccine Different From Others? All You Need to Know

ZyCoV-D for children: All You Need to Know

ZyCoV-D is a plasmid DNA vaccine which when injected produces the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and elicits an immune response mediated by the cellular and humoral arms of the human immune system, which play a vital role in protection from disease as well as viral clearance. The Covid-19 vaccine was tested in the adolescent population in the 12-18 years age group in India and was found to be safe and very well tolerated.

ZyCoV-D had already exhibited robust immunogenicity and tolerability and safety profile in the adaptive Phase I/II clinical trials carried out earlier. Both the Phase I/II and Phase III clinical trials have been monitored by an independent Data Safety Monitoring Board.

The vaccine is stored at 2-8 degrees Celsius but has shown good stability at temperatures of 25 degrees Celsius for at least three months. The thermostability of the vaccine will help in easy transportation and storage of the vaccine and reduce any cold chain breakdown challenges leading to vaccine wastage, the company has said. The plasmid DNA platform also provides ease of manufacturing with minimal biosafety requirements (BSL-1). The Plasmid DNA platform also allows generating new constructs quickly to deal with mutations in the virus, such as those already occurring.

Paediatric centres in all 736 districts

Ahead of a possible third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Centre during the first meeting of the new-look Cabinet on Thursday decided to set up paediatric units in all the 736 districts of the country, besides establishing a Paediatric Centre of Excellence (Paediatric CoE) in each state/UT.

It is feared that the possible third wave of the pandemic will impact the children more. Keeping all this in view, the Centre on Friday announced a Rs 23,000 crore second emergency Covid package to improve the facilities in the health sector across the country.

“The Centre aims to set up 20,000 ICU beds in the public healthcare systems, out of which 20 per cent will be pediatric ICU beds,” said newly-appointed Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya.

(With agency inputs)

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