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Covid-19 Vaccines for Children Below 12 Years in India

In recent weeks, there’s a lot of discussion among parents and school managements about Covid-19 vaccines for children below 12 years of age in India. There’re several questions that people have about such vaccination for their children.

In this article, we will clarify some doubts and try to present you with a complete picture of coronavirus vaccinations for children under 12 years of age in India. 

Do Kids Below 12 Require Covid-19 Vaccines?

The World Health Organization (WHO) says that Covid-19 vaccines for children below the age of 12 are not yet recommended. In a statement available on the WHO website, the global body notes:

“As children and adolescents tend to have milder disease compared to adults, unless they are in a group at higher risk of severe Covid-19, it is less urgent to vaccinate them than older people, those with chronic health conditions and health workers.”

The World Health Organization (WHO)

However, the WHO statement also adds:

“There are benefits of vaccinating children and adolescents that go beyond the direct health benefits. Vaccination that decreases Covid-19 transmission in this age group may reduce transmission from children and adolescents to older adults and may help reduce the need for mitigation measures in schools.”

One of the major risk factors of vaccinating children below the age of 12 with Covid-19 vaccines is said to be the side effects, according to the US National Library of Medicine. Vaccine side effects on adults continue to vary according to immunity levels of individuals. However, there’re no conclusive studies on side effects on children below 12 years of age.

This means, children below the age of 12 don’t require the Covid-19 jab on an urgent basis. Unless they are immune-compromised due to a preexisting medical condition, children below the age of 12 have superb immunity systems that can counter the Covid-19 virus infection.

Children who were infected by Covid-19 virus have shown less severe symptoms than adults and recovered speedily. 

Covid-19 Vaccines for Children in India

According to various news reports, Covid-19 jabs for children below 12 in India are expected to start in the first or second half of 2022.

Speaking to new channel and website, NDTV, Dr NK Arora, the Chairman of India’s Covid task force, told NDTV vaccination for kids with comorbidities would begin sometime in December. Healthy children could expect vaccines sometime in the first quarter of 2022, he added.

“We will go in a stepwise manner… ultimately, I think somewhere in the latter half of December, I think we should be able to start paediatric vaccination for priority children. And as soon as we finish these, which are 10 to 15 per cent, we move on to healthy children,” Dr Arora said.

Therefore, parents can expect the Indian government to announce the availability of Covid-19 vaccines for kids in India during 2022. The government is also expected to release details of the mechanism through which these vaccines will be rolled out for kids. This is expected to be done in a phased manner to ensure that children everywhere in the country have proper access to these vaccines.

Related Articles:

Types of Covid-19 Vaccines for Kids

Authorities in India have finalized the vaccines that would be given to children below the age of 12 in India.

A news report on NDTV states: “In August the Drug Controller General of India approved Zydus Cadila’s three-dose vaccine ZyCoV-D for use on children over the age of 12. The company had then said it plans to manufacture 100-120 million doses annually and had started stockpiling.

ZyCoV-D, which has yet to receive emergency use approval from the World Health Organization,  was found to have 66.6 per cent efficacy in a late-stage trial of over 28,000 volunteers worldwide.

In October, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin became the second vaccine approved for kids between the ages of two and 18 in India. However, as with ZyCoV-D, safety and efficacy data for children has yet to be released. Equivalent data for adults shows 77.8 per cent protection, a Lancet study said, according to NDTV.

Covaxin received WHO approval earlier this month, the news report further adds.

Dr. NK Arora is quoted by NDTV as saying: “We have seen the data, there are no safety concerns” as these are all inactivated vaccines. Dr Arora said the government was waiting on Zydus Cadila and the Serum Institute to complete their trials and evaluate gathered data to ensure the vaccines are both safe and effective for children.

Dr. Adar Poonawala, the CEO of Serum Institute of India has meanwhile told the news channel that Covovax should be used for vaccinating children in India instead of Covishield, which his company produces currently.

” Covovax should be available in six months. The trials are on… no safety issues so far. We have gone down to the age of seven with good results,” Mr Poonawalla is quoted as saying, when asked about vaccines for kids.

“Our approach will be to vaccinate children right down to the age of two with Covovax,” he said, adding there is “a lot of stock of Covovax” and that these would be available – in India and to the world – on receipt of regulatory approvals.

Covovax, also known worldwide as Novovax,  will be the third vaccine for kids in India. So far trials have been run on two age groups of children according to news reports. It has yet to get the WHO’s stamp of approval, though it has been cleared for use in some countries.

Question Related to Covid-19 vaccines For Children Below 12 in India

When will Covid-19 vaccines be available for children below 12 in India?

The Indian government will announce the availability of Covid-19 vaccines for children below 12 who are immune-compromised by the end of December 2021 or early 2022. According to news reports, vaccines for other kids below 12 are likely to be available by the first or second quarter of 2022.

Are there any special Covid-19 vaccines for children below 12?

The Indian government will announce the availability of Covid-19 vaccines for children below 12 who are immune-compromised by the end of December 2021 or early 2022. According to news reports, vaccines for other kids below 12 are likely to be available by the first or second quarter of 2022.

Do children below 12 who aren’t vaccinated at high risk from Covid-19?

No, studies worldwide have shown that kids below 12 are at a lower risk from Covid-19 infections and their symptoms. That’s because these kids have higher immunity and can easily overcome the infection with proper care.

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