COVID-19 vaccine Zydus Cadila for children above 12 expected by August, says NTAGI chief

New Delhi: Zydus Cadila COVID-19 vaccine for children above 12 years is expected to be available by August as its trials are likely to be completed by July-end, said Dr N K Arora, Chairman, National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI).

“Trial will almost complete till July-end and in August, we will be able to vaccinate children aged between 12-18 years,” said NTAGI chief. Commenting on the ICMR study that COVID-19 third wave is likely to come late, he said that in the coming months, the government has targeted to administer 1 crore doses every day to achieve the target of immunising everyone in the country within a time bracket of six to eight months.

The NTAGI chief also said that vaccination-related rumours are vague and vaccines in India are 95-96 per cent safe. “ICMR has come up with a study that says 3rd wave is likely to come late. We have a window period of 6-8 months to immunise everybody in the country. In the coming days, our target is to administer 1 crore doses every day. It is important that people come forward proactively and take the vaccines, that`s absolutely necessary.

There are several rumours, misinformation which is spreading in the country. Similarly, people have some vague fear in their minds. They think there may be some side effect or vaccine may be unsafe,” said Dr Arora.He further said, “Scientifically, we have been looking at adverse events during vaccination, 95-96 per cent people have only mild fever or local pain, 4-5 pr cent people have been hospitalised due to an allergy or some get anxious and they have to be hospitalised but otherwise these vaccines are absolutely safe.

“Speaking on Zydus Cadila`s COVID-19 vaccine, AIIMS Delhi Director Dr Randeep Guleria told ANI: “Zydus Cadila is DNA vaccine. It`s a new platform that is being used. It`s something that we should be proud of. A platform for which research isn`t done in past in our country and now making this new type of vaccine, the data is still being collated and one is hoping that they will be able to submit the data to the DCGI for regulatory approval. So, one is hopeful and that will depend on the company that how quickly the company is able to collate the data and give it to the regulatory authority.

“Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday applauded the country`s commendable momentum on the vaccination front and urged the nation to overcome vaccine hesitancy. Addressing the “Mann Ki Baat” radio programme, PM Modi said that India achieved a historic achievement by vaccinating more than 86 lakh people in a day.

“The battle we the countrymen are fighting against corona is continuing, but in this fight, together, we`ve achieved many an extraordinary milestone! Just a few days ago, our country accomplished an unprecedented feat. On June 21, when the new phase of vaccine drive began, more than 86 lakh people made a record of receiving free vaccine doses in a day,” he said.

He talked to two villagers of Dulariya village in Betul district of Madhya Pradesh who informed about vaccine hesitancy being spread in their village through social media. PM Modi urged the villagers not to believe in rumours and said, “I have taken both doses. My mother is almost a hundred years old, she has taken both vaccines too. Please do not believe any negative rumours relating to vaccines.”

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