A decision on Covid-19 vaccination of children will be taken once the results of the ongoing clinical trials are obtained, said the central government on Tuesday.
"Clinical trials are underway for some of our vaccines, including Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and Zydus Cadila's another vaccine," said joint secretary in the health ministry, Lav Agarwal.
"As soon as we get robust enough results of these trials, we will decide on vaccination for children, based on the expert decision," he added.
VK Paul, member (health) of Niti Aayog, said that the government is also encouraging Biological E, Novavax to conduct paediatrics study once they are found safe for adults.
The statement comes hours after Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said the government is likely to begin vaccinating children against Covid-19 in August.
According to news agency ANI, Mandaviya made the statement this during a parliamentary party meeting of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which was also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"We would likely begin vaccinating children from next month," the health minister said.
A few days ago, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) director Randeep Guleria said that the results of trials for Covaxin are expected to be released by September.
"Vaccines for children should come out now because trials in India are already underway for vaccines which are available in India. Bharat Biotech's trial is in the final phase and by September we will have the data," Guleria was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
"In the coming weeks or by September, vaccines should be available for children. We should then start schools in a graded manner as we have been doing for 18-45 years age and that also will give more protection to kids and more confidence to the public that children are safe," he added.
He further said that vaccine manufacturer Zydus Cadila, which recently requested emergency use authorisation for its Covid-19 vaccine ZyCov-D, has also included the data for children for their vaccine.
"Zydus Cadila vaccine has also included children and their data is already there. They have already applied for the emergency use authorization," he said.
Zydus Cadila has concluded its trial for children between the age group of 12 to 18.
The Ahmedabad-based pharmaceutical firm had on July 1, requested emergency use approval for its three-dose Covid shot - the world's first Plasmid DNA vaccine.
For Covaxin, the trial is being conducted in three phases by segregating children into categories according to their age. The first trial was started in the age group of 12 to 18 years followed by the age group of 6 to 12. Trials for children between the ages of and 2-6 years are currently undergoing trials.
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