Government's COVID panel chief NK Arora has said that details of vaccination of children between 12 and 17, including prioritising those with health complications, will be announced before the Zydus Cadila vaccine is rolled out in October. According to a report by NDTV, Arora has also suggested to reopen schools, citing the latest sero survey. The latest sero survey explains that children are less likely to get severe COVID infection.
According to Arora, there are around 12 crore children in the age group of 12-18 years in India and less than 1% of them may have health problems.
The chances of health complications in parents, who may be between 18-45 years, are likely by 10-15 times, said Dr Arora, adding it was important to vaccinate this group before vaccinating children.
He said there are about 44 crore children in the country under the age of 18 and suggested reopening of schools was necessary for the "intellectual development" of children.
This report comes amid concerns the third wave is more likely to affect children.
ZyCoV-D is an indigenously developed drug and is world's first DNA-based, needle-free COVID-19 vaccine. It received Emergency Use Authorisation on August 20.
According to Zydus' phase 3 clinical trials, it was 66.6% effective for symptomatic RT-PCR positive cases. In the adaptive phase one and two trials, the vaccine already exhibited robust immunogenicity, tolerability and safety profile. Both phase 1 and 2, and phase 3 trials have been monitored by an independent data safety monitoring board.
India currently has over 3 lakh active COVID cases and there are reports of third wave hitting the country in September and October. So far, 436,365 people have died due to the deadly virus in the country with 607 deaths being reported on Thursday.
The vaccination programme, which was rolled out in January this year, has covered more than 60 crore people.