Two vaccines now approved for children

In a major boost to efforts to protect children against Covid-19 infection, the national drugs regulator approved two vaccines — Biological E’s Corbevax and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin — for emergency use in children aged 5-12 and 6-12 respectively. The regulator also approved Zydus Cadila’s two-dose ZyCov-D vaccine for those above 12 years.

The approvals are significant as they expand the basket of vaccines available for almost all age groups and are likely to allow the government to lower the eligible age for vaccination, as many school-going children remain unvaccinated amid rising Covid-19 cases in some parts of the country. Currently, only those aged 12 and above are eligible for Covid vaccination.

However, the final decision to roll out vaccine for under-12 group will be taken by the government only after such a recommendation from its scientific expert body – National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation for Covid-19, officials said.

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