COVAXIN trial starts on children

Trial of COVAXIN, a COVID-19 vaccine by Bharat Biotech, on children below 18 years was started at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Patna.

Background

Trail was started following a nod given on May 11 by Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to conduct clinical trials of Covaxin. COVAXIN was approved by DCGI, for Phase II/III clinical trials in age group of 2 to 18 years.

Vaccination Drive in India

India started world’s largest vaccination drive on January 16, 2021 in phased manner. In the first phase, healthcare workers (HCWs) were vaccinated. Vaccination of frontline workers (FLWs) started on February 2 while, those over 60 years of age and for people aged 45 with specified comorbid conditions were allowed to take jab, March onwards under phase 1 itself. On April 1, second phase started and India allowed all people aged more than 45 under vaccination plan. Third phase of vaccination started on May to cover people aged 18-44 years.

Covid-19 Vaccines in India

India is administering three COVID-19 vaccines including Covaxin by Bharat Biotech, COVISHIELD by Serum Institute and Sputnik V. COVAXIN by Russia. All these vaccines are being manufactured in India. However, due to shortage of vaccine in the country that actively contributed towards COVAX programme by WHO, no of vaccination per day has decreased from 35 lakh each day in first week of April to 16 lakh doses in May. Companies are increasing vaccine production to build up vaccine stock but it will take time. COVAXIN is expected to produce 3.5 crore vaccines in June, COVISHIELD to produce 10 crore shots.

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