Zydus Cadila is testing its Covid-19 vaccine candidate on children aged 12-18 in addition to adults, and the Ahmedabad-based company is likely to apply for the vaccine license in the next two weeks, a senior government official said. Not only does Covaxin do studies in children, and it won’t be long since they are all immunogenic studies, but the Zydus vaccine is already being tested on children.
They will also have enough data on opinion on whether this vaccine can be given to children; we need to understand that the cohort of children is not a small cohort. My rough guess is that if you are 12-18 years old, this is 13 to 14 crore of the population and for which we need about 25-26 crore doses. We can’t let some people get it and others don’t, so we need to take this into account when developing a strategy and making a decision based on how many doses of each vaccine they have.
ZyCov-D, the Zydus – Vaccine, is being developed with support from the Centre’s National Biopharmaceutical Mission as part of the Biotechnology Industry Research Grant Council, Biotechnology Department. According to reports, Zydus Cadila plans to begin studies with ZyCoV-D in children ages 5 to 12 after including adults and 800 children ages 12 to 18.
Patel said vaccine development is happening in phases, starting in adults, followed by the 12-18 age group and then children under 12, when he was asked about plans to extend the vaccine to its use in children under 12 to test. The Indian Institute of Medical Sciences of Patna (AIIMS) began phase 3 clinical trials of Covaxin, developed by Bharat Biotech International Limited, in children ages 2 to 18 years old on Tuesday.
56 children registered in the institute for studies, 16 of which were in the 12-18 age group. “We started the children’s studies by giving the vaccine to three volunteers in the 12-18 age group,” said Dr. Lokesh Tiwari, additional professor and director of the Department of Pediatrics.