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How Ready Is The Country For The Vaccination Of Children?

The world is apprehensive about the third wave of the corona pandemic. Especially all the countries are busy preparing for the vaccine for children. In many countries, children over the age of 12 have started getting the vaccine. Do we know what the preparation is in India?

Preparing to give vaccine from the needle-free nozzle, Ahmedabad-based Zydus Cadila's vaccine ZyCoV-D is also, tried on children above 12 years. It will be a needle-free injection-given vaccine. In this, fluid is sent into the body at high speed from a needle-free nozzle on the skin. This test can be useful to children. Along with this, the company claims that it remains safe even at ordinary room temperature. It will also be easy to take and preserve in remote areas of the country. Soon Zydus Cadila company is going to apply to DCGI for approval of its vaccine. Despite this, after approval in America, talks have started to bring Pfizer's vaccine to India.


Which vaccine is abroad at which stage?


In the US, a three-phase trial of the Pfizer vaccine has been done on children above the ages of 12 years. Two doses of this vaccine were tested on more than 2200 children at an interval of 21 days. It is said to be 100 percent effective. Antibodies were also found, in children. Pfizer claims that its vaccine is perfect for children above the age of 12. It is also possible to store it at 2 to 8degree temperature. Negotiations are going on for Pfizer Company's vaccine supply in India. This company is ready to supply 50 million doses of vaccine to India between July and October. On the other hand, the trial of the second phase of Moderna's vaccine for children is also nearing completion. In this, two doses of vaccine were given to the children at an interval of 28 days. In the third phase, Moderna has a trial plan on 6750 children in the US and Canada. On the other hand, China has also approved CoronaVac for children above three years of age.


Why is this vaccine safe for children?


Why is Bharat Biotech's Covaccine Suitable for Children? Virologist T Jacob John of Vellore says – Covaccine is an inactivated virus-based vaccine. The Covaccine is a vaccine based on the same technology on which polio and hepatitis A vaccines are made. This type of vaccine is given to children, their ability to develop immunity has also been proved. However, before its use on children, it will have to be proven with trial data.


The second wave of corona in the country is stopping, but the situation is neither calm. There is no peace in the minds of the people. Experts are forecasting the third wave of the corona, and this wave is known to be more dangerous for children. In such a situation, work has intensified around the world besides India regarding the vaccine for children. Now, apart from adults, the challenge is for the government, to provide vaccines for 150 million children. These children are below the age of 18 years in the country. That too, at a time when no vaccine in the country is yet ready for children. In many countries including America, vaccines are allowed for children above 12 years of age, but in India, the vaccine for children is still in the trial stage. Regarding the preparation for the vaccination of children, Dr. VK Paul, a member of NITI Aayog, says- 'Trial on children's corona vaccine is starting in the country. The number of children in India is large. Honestly, we will need 25 crore vaccine doses for children. You cannot vaccinate someone and leave someone behind. All children will have to be vaccinated if the danger is to be reduced.”


Are children's vaccines any different? 


In America, the vaccine approved for children is the same given to the elders. In the US, Pfizer has approved the vaccine for children over the age of 12. This vaccine of Pfizer has been getting the elders in many countries, including America, for the last several months. It was tried on children and found to be effective. After that, it has been approved to apply to children. Its trial is also ongoing on children below the age of 12. Based on the results, the decision on use will be taken.


 Which companies are preparing in India?


There are currently two companies working on children's vaccines in India. Covaccine maker Bharat Biotech and another company Zydus Cadila. DCGI has permitted Bharat Biotech to conduct Phase 2 and 3 trials of the vaccine on children aged 2 to 18. Right now, this trial has started in the country in many places including, Delhi-Patna AIIMS. The preparations for this vaccine had started only last year, when Krishna Alla, Chief of Bharat Biotech, had said – Our vaccine is safe, time tested, and proven, through technology. It can be given, to a person of any age from 6 months old baby. The trial of Bharat Biotech's vaccine on children started last week. The company plans to test the vaccine on children in three age groups. These trials will be conducted on different groups of children aged 12 to 18 years, 6 to 12 years, and six months to 6 years.


Why is it important to vaccinate children?


Health experts are emphasizing the vaccination of children before the third wave. Experts believe that with the flu, it is also crucial to have a vaccine for children. They may not prevent children from getting infected, but antibodies can prove to be helpful in speedy recovery in the event of infection. By the time the third wave arrives most adult population, will be vaccinated. In such a situation, there will be a risk of children getting infected. In the first wave, where only 3 to 4 percent of the total cases of infection came in children, in the second wave, the figure was found to be above 10 percent. Experts have been warning about the third wave from now on that vaccination is the only way to stop it.


What are the dangers in children?


Experts say that due to high immunity in children, cases of Covid infection are found less. In most cases of contagion, the symptoms are also mild. But in some cases, it is necessary to protect children due to severe infection and prolonged suffering. If infected, children can spread the virus to others as well. Vaccination is the best way of prevention in this situation. To prevent new variants, and mutations of the corona, its spread has to be stopped. To develop herd immunity in a large section of society, the mass population will have to be vaccinated. In such a situation, such a large population of children cannot be left unprotected. Especially in the event of the opening of schools, the focus will also have to be protecting children.


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