New Delhi: India is about to get a new COVID-19 vaccine developed by Indian pharmaceutical company Zydus Cadila, the Centre has informed the Supreme Court on Saturday (June 26, 2021). The pharmaceutical company Zydus Cadila has concluded its clinical trial and will soon be available for those between 12-18 years of age. This development comes as a huge relief as the country is anticipating the possible third COVID-19 wave to affect the children primarily. 

“It is submitted that Zydus Cadila which is developing DNA vaccines has concluded its clinical trial for between the age group of 12 to 18 years of age and subject to the statutory permissions, the same may be available in near future for children in the age group of 12 to 18 years of age,” the Centre told the apex court in an affidavit on Saturday.

In its 375-page affidavit, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said the government is making efforts towards procuring 135 crore doses of the various COVID-19 vaccines, including 50 crore doses of Covishield, 40 crore doses of Covaxin, 30 crore doses of BioE’s jab, 10 crore doses of the Sputnik V vaccine and 5 crore doses of Zydus Cadila’s DNA vaccine, between August and December of this year.

Walk in vaccinations have been allowed for all ages and digital divide is not a constraint for access to vaccines anymore, the affidavit added.

The 375-page affidavit was a reply to a slew of questions raised by the top court on May 31. A bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud had slammed the Centre’s COVID-19 vaccination policy on May 31 and has stated that the policy was “prima facie arbitrary and irrational”. 

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