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NTAGI approves Serum's Covovax COVID-19 vaccine for 12-17 age group: Report

NTAGI approves Serum's Covovax COVID-19 vaccine for 12-17 age group: Report

Earlier, Centre on Thursday had notified that a decision regarding vaccination of children will be taken on the basis of the recommendation by NTAGI.

(representataional image) (representataional image)

Government panel National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) on Friday approved Serum Institute of India's Covovax COVID-19 vaccine for the age group 12-17, news agency ANI reported citing sources. 

However, no decision has been taken by NTAGI on vaccinating children between the age group of 5-12 years of age, ANI reported later citing sources.

India's drug regulator had approved Covovax for restricted use in emergency situations in adults on December 28 last year and in the 12-17 age group, subject to certain conditions, on March 9.

"The COVID-19 working group of the NTAGI (National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation) had earlier reviewed data related to Covovax and okayed it. The NTAGI's Standing Technical Sub-Committee which met on Friday has recommended that the vaccine can be used for 12-17 years age group," an official source said, reported news agency PTI.

Earlier, Centre on Thursday had notified that a decision regarding vaccination of children will be taken on the basis of the recommendation by NTAGI on Friday. This comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed vaccination for all eligible children at the earliest with “special campaigns" in schools is a priority for the Government. 

India's drug regulator, DCGI, had on Tuesday approved three COVID-19 vaccines for the restricted emergency use authorisation (EUA) for children of different age groups. The DCGI approved ZyCov-D for 12 years and above, Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN for 6-12 years and Biological E’s Corbevax for 5-12 years

And following this, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Thursday, "The decision (on vaccination for 5-12 age group) will be taken on the basis of the recommendation of an expert committee."

The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 last year with healthcare workers getting inoculated in the first phase. Vaccination of frontline workers started from February 2 last year. 

The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced on March 1 last year for people over 60 years of age and those aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions. India launched vaccination for all people aged more than 45 years from April 1 last year. The government then decided to expand its vaccination drive by allowing everyone above 18 years of age to be inoculated against the viral disease from May 1 last year. 

The next phase of vaccination commenced from January 3 for adolescents in the age group of 15-18 years. India began administering precaution doses of vaccines to healthcare and frontline workers and those aged 60 and above with comorbidities from January 10. The country also began administering precaution dose of COVID-19 vaccines to all aged above 18 years at private vaccination centres from April 10.