COVID vaccine to be available for children by September; booster doses required to contain pandemic: ICMR-NIV
Answering a question on availability of Covid-19 vaccines for children, ICMR-NIV director Priya Abraham said it will be available by next month.
New Delhi: Amid reports of the possible third wave of Covid-19 hitting India in September, National Institute of Virology-Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR-NIV) director Priya Abraham said, since new variants of coronavirus will keep coming, booster doses are going to be required to regulate the pandemic.
Studies on booster dose have been going on overseas and at least seven different vaccines have been tried out for booster dose. Now, WHO has put a stop there till more countries catch up with vaccination. This is because there is an alarming vaccine gap between high-income and low-income countries. But, in future, recommendations for boosters will definitely come, Priya Abraham said.
Answering a question on availability of Covid-19 vaccines for children, Abraham said it will be available by next month.
Presently, phase II and III trials of Covaxin are going on for children in the age group of 2 to 18 years, she added.
Earlier, NIV had spearheaded development of India's first indigenously developed vaccine, Covaxin.
When asked about studies also on mix and match of vaccines, the director said that there was a situation where inadvertently two different vaccines were given in two doses. We have tested those samples at NIV and located that the patients who received different vaccines in two doses were safe. No adverse effect was noted, and immunogenicity was a little better. So, it is definitely not something which will cause a safety issue. We are studying this phenomenon and can be ready to give more details during a few days’ time.
She also warned that folks shouldn't enjoy crowding because they are going to be 'inviting' subsequent waves of Covid-19.
New variants will keep on coming. We have two weapons which are the most important protection. These are: wearing mask properly and actively encouraging everyone to be vaccinated. Then albeit a wave comes, it'll not be an enormous one.