India likely to vaccinate children with comorbidities from January: Report
- National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation in India (NTAGI) is likely to discuss the proposal at an upcoming meeting
- The panel could also discuss a comprehensive plan for India approving COVID-19 booster shots for adults
- By March, all other children are likely to become eligible for COVID-19 vaccination
India is likely to start vaccinating children with comorbidities against coronavirus from January, according to a media report. An upcoming meeting of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation in India (NTAGI) is likely to discuss a comprehensive plan for giving additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine to adults and COVID-19 vaccination for children, the report said.
By March, all other children are likely to become eligible for vaccination, NTDV quoted sources as saying. Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) director general (DG) Balram Bhargava on Saturday said India is evaluating the progress of COVID-19 vaccination among children in other countries conducting the same.
“Some countries are vaccinating children in age brackets such as between 15 and 18 years and we are closely monitoring the development there. We know kids are protected as 62% of them showed immunity against the virus in India,” he said at an event in Lucknow.
He did not specify a timeframe for Covid vaccination among children in India, reports Hindustan Times.
The United States began vaccinating children aged 5 to 11 earlier this month with Pfizer Inc and BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine.
In October, Cuba became the first country to approve COVID-19 vaccination for children as young as two years old against coronavirus. China is also among the few countries where children as young as three are being immunised against coronavirus with at least five provinces last month issuing notices mandating vaccination for children ages 3 to 11.
This week, Canada authorised the use of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for children between the ages of 5 and 11.
COVID-19 booster shots have also been approved by health regulators in several countries amid a raging debate among the scientific community about the requirement of additional protection against the infection.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorised booster shots of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine for all adults 18 and older from an earlier decision that limited the coverage to only vulnerable groups.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has previously been critical of some wealthy countries vaccinating children "at the expense of health workers and high-risk groups in other countries.”