Before the possible third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is some news that may give relief to parents. Vaccination of children in the 12-18 years age group will start by September with the Zydus vaccine. This information was given by Dr NK Arora, who heads the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration.
Dr 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 COVID-19, which is likely to impact the children more severely.
This, he said, will be followed up with Covaxin. Covaxin phase 3 trials have started in the age group of 2 to 18-year-olds. But trial data for Zydus Cadila for 12 to 18-year-olds will be available even before that.
The focus on vaccinating children has been increasing in view of a threat perception for them in the third wave of COVID-19.
Zydus vaccine for children
ZyCoV-D is a plasmid DNA vaccine which when injected produces the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
It also 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 1/2 clinical trials carried out earlier.
Both the Phase 1/2 and Phase 3 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 plasmid DNA platform also provides ease of manufacturing with minimal biosafety requirements (BSL-1).