BELAGAVI: India's first Covid-19 vaccine for children between the age group of 12 and 18, ZyCoV-D, has been sent by pharmaceutical firm Zydus Cadila for emergency use authorisation to the Drug Controller General of India (DGCI) after its clinical trials ended successfully in the country. The much-awaited vaccination for children is expected to begin once ZyCoV-D gets the DCGI nod in the next eight to ten days.
Although the actual trials end in February 2022, sources said as per guidelines, vaccination of children can be launched if DGCI gives an emergency approval. The clinical trials of ZyCoV-D began in February this year.
Dr Amit Bhate, who headed the clinical trials of ZyCoV-D at Jeevan Rekha Hospital, Belagavi (one of the 20 centres in the country where trials were held)said, “ZyCoV-D is a three-dose vaccine and children and adults will have to take the second dose 28 days after the first dose and the third dose on the 56th day.''
In each of the 20 centres, including Jeevan Rekha, 20 children between the age group of 12 and 18 have undergone clinical trials. “The trials began in February and all the 20 children are healthy. We are monitoring their health and found no side-effects. And that has been the main reason as to why an emergency approval has been sought by Zydus Cadila,” he added.
Last year, clinical trials of Covaxin, a vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech, was conducted in three phases at Jeevan Rekha successfully under Dr Bhate. A total of 54 volunteers participated in the first two phases of clinical trials and 2,000 volunteers participated in the third and last phase.