The Government is said to be firming up plans to begin COVID-19 vaccination of children in the 12-17 age group who have co-morbidities like obesity, heart disorders or immunodeficiency by October-November, reports Times of India.
The actual rollout of the plan would depend on the supplies of Ahmedabad-based Zydus Cadila’s DNA vaccine ZyCoV-D.
ZyCoV-D is the only COVID-19 vaccine to have received the emergency use authorisation for use among children in India so far. The supplies are expected to begin in October.
The number of such children who will be vaccinated in the first phase is estimated to be around 20-30 lakh. The government is expected to further expand the coverage among children by March next year when more supplies will be available.
It is expected that Zydus Cadila will be able to supply 40 lakh doses in the first lot. This will then be scaled up to a crore doses every month going ahead. In total, the government is expecting 4-5 crore doses of the vaccine by December.
It should be noted that the said vaccine follows a three-dose regimen.
Meanwhile, Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin is also being tested for use among children and clinical trials are nearing completion.