March 27, 2023

covid: Corbevax gets nod, paves way to lower age bar for Covid jab | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The drug regulator’s expert committee on Monday recommended emergency approval to Biological E’s Covid vaccine Corbevax for use in adolescents of 12-18 years, a move that is likely to pave the way for the government to lower age eligibility for Covid vaccination to 12 years.
Currently, Covid vaccines are given to only those of 15 years and above age.
“The final emergency use authorisation from the Drugs Controller General of India will come over the next few days,” a senior official told TOI.
Till Monday, over 1.5 crore youngsters of 15-18 years are fully vaccinated, whereas more than 70% of 7.4 crore adolescents in the age group have initiated vaccination with at least the first dose.
The expected approval to Corbevax for emergency use in 12-18 years old will enhance availability of Covid vaccine doses for adolescents in this age category, enabling possible expansion of the vaccination programme to cover an additional 6-6.5 crore youngsters between 12 to 15 years age.
This assumes significance as most academic institutions are resuming physical classes and the new academic session is also set to start from April. Expansion of the vaccination programme will bring relief to parents, teachers and school authorities who are worried about safety of students.
At present, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Zydus Cadila‘s ZyCoV-D are the two vaccines approved for use in those above 12 years of age. However, under the government’s immunisation programme, only Covaxin is available for vaccination of youngsters between 15-18 years of age.
While the government has so far maintained that expansion of vaccination to additional population groups will depend on recommendation of its scientific expert group – NTAGI for Covid-19 – limited production of Covaxin is also a challenge for the government to expand the vaccination programme.

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