Why can Indian children between 15 and 18 only get Covaxin?
- Children in the 15-18 age group will be able to receive the booster dose of Covaxin starting today
- Mortality rates for the 15-18 age group remain high, making it a crucial target for immunization
- Covaxin might be the best vaccine choice, as it belongs to the virion group of vaccines that are known to be well-suited for mutating viruses and their variants
As Covid-19 cases skyrocket in India, the government has begun to impose stringent restrictions and issue necessary guidelines. Along with lockdowns and night curfews, new booster guidelines have been issued for frontline workers, the elderly and children. Children in the 15-18 age group will be able to receive the booster dose of Covaxin starting today.
In an interview with India.com, Dr Farah Ingale, director of internal medicine at Fortis Hiranandani Hospital, shed light on why the booster dose is only suited for children in the 15-18 age group.
According to her, this age group is more exposed to the virus, unlike younger kids who mostly stay confined at home. Along with that, mortality rates for the 15-18 age group remain high, making it a crucial target for immunization.
While many of the younger ages can be asymptomatic, having this age group inoculated is necessary to avoid the spread of the infection among older individuals.
Although other vaccines such as the ZyCov-D are suitable for children, the Indian government is yet to approve them.
Ingale further added that Covaxin might be the best vaccine choice, as the indigenous vaccine belongs to the virion group of vaccines that are known to be well-suited for mutating viruses and their variants.
Although Covaxin seems to be a wise choice, Ingale added due to the novelty of the virus and its variants, it was tricky to declare which vaccine would be the most effective choice.
Ingale said there was no hidden agenda in having the 15-18 age group vaccinated and added that the step was simply necessary, given the fact that many children had either succumbed to the infection in the past months or had acquired the increased ability to transmit the infection to others.
The country has lately had an alarming surge of new cases, with the capital recording 4,099 new cases on Monday.