New Delhi: Covaxin, India's indigenous COVID-19 vaccine, has been recommended for children below the age of 18 and this would be crucial in the future marketing of the vaccine. Even the vaccines of Pfizer and Moderna are yet to be administered to children aged below 12.
If the vaccination of children is effective in India, it is expected that Covaxin will be in demand. Other than Cuba, China, and Argentina, no other country has started administering vaccines to children below the age of 12. This increases Covaxin's importance in the market. Though the World Health Organisation (WHO) is yet to give approval to Covaxin, a decision in this regard is likely in the coming days.
Cuba was the first country to authorise the use of vaccines for children above the age of 2. Cuba is using an indigenously-developed vaccine. Cuba, which is yet to reveal the trial data, had stated that it would seek the approval of the WHO.
Vaccine for children in other countries
* Pfizer: In the US, approval has been given to administer the vaccine for those aged above 12.
* Moderna: Permitted for use among those in the 12-17 age group in European countries. In the US, approval is only for those aged above 18.
* Sputnik V: Russia is only conducting the trial of its vaccine, Sputnik V, among those in the age group of 12-17.
* Janssen: The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has sought approval for trial among those in the age group of 12-17 in India. Yet to be administered to children in the US.
* Sinovac: Though the trial results say the Chinese-made Sinovac is safe, permission has not been given to be administered to children even in China. Chile has said that it will administer the Sinovac vaccine to children above the age of 6.
* Sinopharm: China and Argentina have authorised the use of Sinopharm for those in the age group of 3-17. Though the UAE has approved the use of the vaccine for children aged above 3, it is not mandatory.
Approval sought for 'Corbevax' trial
Pharmaceutical company Biological E has sought approval to conduct the trial of Corbevax as a booster dose for those who have received both doses of Covishield or Covaxin.
Biological E has submitted a request to the Drugs Controller General of India to conduct the phase-3 trial.
As per reports, immunity waned in several people after 6-8 months of vaccination and hence the attempt to enhance immunity with the additional dose.