New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said Tuesday that government will begin vaccinating children against COVID-19 starting next month in August. The Health Minister also said in a BJP parliamentary meet, attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well, that India will be the largest vaccine producing country for COVID-19 vaccines as more companies will get the license to produce the vaccine.

"We would likely begin vaccinating children from next month," the health minister reportedly said during the meeting. At present, all the citizens aged above 18 are eligible for an approved COVID-19 vaccine shot. Currently Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, Serum Institute of India's Covishield and Russia's Gamaleya Institute's Sputnik V vaccines are being inoculated to the eligible citizens across India.

Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and Zydus Cadila's ZyCoV-D vaccine candidate are testing vaccines for children. Reports have stated that the results of the Covaxin trials are expected by September. AIIMS Director, Dr Randeep Guleria had said that preliminary data from Covaxin's clinical trials for children was 'encouraging'.

The Health Minister’s statement comes at a time when there are growing concerns over a possible third wave reportedly affecting the children. The ongoing wave of COVID-19 in Indonesia has children among the worst-hit age demographics.

On Friday, the European medicines watchdog approved the use of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine for children aged 12 to 17.

In May, the US had authorised the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 12 to 15 years old.

In India, Ahmedabad-based vaccine maker Zydus Cadila has successfully completed the clinical trials for its vaccine candidate for inoculating children in particular. "It is submitted that Zydus Cadila which is developing a DNA vaccine has successfully concluded its clinical trial for the 12-18 age group," Satyendra Singh, Under Secretary to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had said in a statement during a press briefing.

Posted By: Mukul Sharma