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Panel recommends Covaxin for Children aged 6-12 years

The subject expert committee (SEC) of the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on Friday recommended the use of Bharat Biotech‘s Covaxin among children aged 6-12 years amid an uptick in cases in schools.

The recommendation has been sent to the DCGI, who will give its final nod.

Covaxin, one of the main vaccines administered to adults, is currently being administered to children in the age group of 15-18 years.

In a meeting held on Thursday, the SEC reviewed Bharat Biotech’s application seeking grant of marketing authorisation for additional indication for Covid-19 vaccine for restricted use in emergency situations in the age group 6-12 years.

Experts had sought additional data from the company which was presented on Friday.

“The SEC was satisfied with the data and recommended its use among children aged 6-12 years,” a person aware of the matter said on condition of anonymity.

The focus has shifted to children’s vaccines amid a fresh surge in Covid-19 cases, especially among children. On Thursday, the SEC also recommended the use of Biological E’s Corbevax among children aged 5-12 years. Corbevax is currently being administered to children in the age group 12-14 years.

Vaccination for children aged 15-18 years started in January. In March, vaccination was extended to children above 12 years.

After a steady decline, parts of the country have been witnessing an uptick in daily Covid-19 cases, which crossed the 2,000-mark for the fourth straight day on Saturday as the country reported 2,527 cases. The total number of Covid-19 cases increased to 43,054,952 with the daily positivity rate at 0.56%.

The health ministry said that 522,149 deaths have been reported so far in the country.

Experts, however, said there was no need to panic as the rise in cases could be due to the removal of Covid-19 restrictions, including reopening of schools and increase in socialising and economic activity.

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