Vaccination for children in the age group 12-18 years will start by September. The first vaccine to be administered to this age group will be the Zydus Cadila vaccine, the emergency use authorisation for which will come within weeks, as mentioned by NK Arora, who heads the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration. The next vaccine in line will be Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
"Covaxin Phase 3 trials have started and by the end of September, I think we should be there. I think sometime in the third quarter or by early January-February we should be able to give it to 2 to 18-year-olds,” Arora told NDTV. Trial data for Zydus vaccine for 12-18 year olds will be available much before that.
Arora stated that they should be able to give the vaccine by the end of September, further adding that it is important to reopen schools. Discussions on the same are being done actively, he added. Focus on vaccinating children has sharpened in view of the perception that they would be gravely affected in the third wave.
While many experts have said that children might not be severely affected, the government has decided not to take any chances, as mentioned in the news site.
New Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that the government is planning to implement a health infrastructure package under which paediatric centres will be set up in 736 districts with 20,000 ICU beds will be created.
Mandaviya during a presser said a Rs 23,123 crore worth package has been announced by the Cabinet to deal with the impact of second wave of COVID. Under the new package, the Centre will provide Rs 15,000 crore and states will provide Rs 8,000 crore.
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