Clinical Trials Underway To Test Covid-19 Jab Efficacy For C
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Clinical trials are now underway to test the safety and efficacy of covid-19 vaccines for children, the Union health ministry has indicated. This comes against the backdrop of schools reopening in several parts of India and of children being potential carriers of the highly infectious disease.

The available vaccines have not been evaluated in children so far, a health ministry document said, to clear the air on why covid-19 vaccination is not being provided to children. The government, however, said that clinical trials are now underway to test the efficacy and safety of the vaccines in children.

Covid-19 affects all age groups, but morbidity and mortality are much more in adults, particularly those above 50 years, the government said. Children are either asymptomatic or have a mild infection, it said. The general practice is to first evaluate a new vaccine in the older population and then assess the safety and efficacy in the pediatric population, the government said.

In a separate significant development, Bharat Biotech on March 3rd announced the first interim analysis of its BBV152 (Covaxin) vaccine. The whole-virion inactivated covid-19 vaccine candidate demonstrated an interim vaccine efficacy of 81% in its Phase 3 clinical trials. The development may help Bharat Biotech secure approval on its plea to conduct Phase 3 trials of Covaxin on children aged 5-18 years.

“Trials are being done. The need is for senior citizens and those with comorbidities and also healthcare and frontline workers who are more susceptible to be vaccinated," said Dr Renu Swarup, secretary, department of biotechnology, ministry of science and technology. Efforts are on to develop comprehensive vaccines for all age groups, including children, to prevent them from contracting covid.