New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Expanding the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive amid a minute spike in cases, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on Tuesday approved three anti-coronavirus vaccines for the restricted emergency use authorisation (EUA) for children of different age groups.

While Bharat Biotech's Covaxin got a nod for use among children in the age group of 6 to 12 years, Biological E's Corbevax was approved for kids of 5 to 12 years age group. On the other hand, Zydus Cadila's ZycovD could now be administered to children above 12 years of age.

"India's fight against Covid more stronger!@CDSCO_INDIA_INF has approved Covaxin for 6 to 12 years of age group, Corbevax for 5 to 12 years age group of children and two doses ZyCoV-D for above 12 years of age group for Restricted Use in Emergency Situations," Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted in Hindi.

Here's everything you need to know about the three COVID-19 vaccines:

Covaxin:

Covaxin, manufactured by Bharat Biotech, is India's first indigenous COVID-19 vaccine. Developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Covaxin has been developed using Whole-Virion Inactivated Vero Cell.

"Inactivated vaccines do not replicate and are therefore unlikely to revert and cause pathological effects. They contain dead virus, incapable of infecting people but still able to instruct the immune system to mount a defensive reaction against an infection," said Bharat Biotech on its website.

Covaxin, a two-dose vaccine, got the DCGI nod for children between 12 to 18 years on December 24, 2021. Later, it was approved for children between the 15 to 18 age group.

According to National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) chairman Dr NK Arora, Covaxin can generate "a very good" immune response in children. Speaking to news agency ANI, Covaxin generated a "slightly better" immune response in children than adults during trials, adding that it is a safe vaccine.

"So, in children, we have an immunogenicity study, not an efficacy study. So immunogenicity means what level of antibodies are produced, and we know that there is a reasonably good relationship between antibody levels and protection," he said.

"In fact, as I said, adolescents produce better levels of antibodies as compared to their adults. Here, I would also like to say that the same Covaxin dose is given to children as an adult and the interpretation between the doses is also four weeks. So as far as implementation of the programme is concerned, there is no special effort required."

Corbevax:

Developed by Hyderabad-based Biological E's, Corbevax was earlier available for children between the age group of 12 to 14 years. However, it has now got a nod for use in 5 to 15 years of children.

A receptor binding domain or (RBD) protein subunit vaccine, the two-dose Corbevax is administered 28 days apart. The company has claimed that Corbevax - stored at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius temperatures - "demonstrated superior immune response in comparison with Covishield".

It also said that Corbevax is effective against Delta, Beta, and Omicron variants. "The vaccine will be effective both in scale and affordability, providing sustainable access to low-and middle-income countries," it said.

ZycovD:

ZycovD, developed by Ahmedabad-based Zydus Cadila, is the world's first DNA-based vaccine and has also been approved for children above the age of 12 years for a two-dose regimen. It was India's first vaccine that got a nod for inoculation of those aged 12 years and above.

A needle-free vaccine, ZycovD has a 66.6 per cent efficacy rate, according to the company. Zydus Cadila also said that it has "also evaluated a two-dose regimen for ZyCoV-D vaccine using a 3mg dose per visit and the immunogenicity results had been found to be equivalent to the current three-dose regimen."

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma