New Delhi: On Tuesday, The Serum Institute Of India’s (SII) Covid-19 vaccine Covovax has been approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for children between the age group of 7 and 12 years. The organisation also approved India’s first indigenously developed mRNA vaccine against COVID-19 for restricted use in emergency situations.
The DCGI’s nod came after the subject expert committee on COVID-19 of the CSDCO last week recommended granting emergency use authorisation to Covovax for the age group of 7 to 11 years. Covovax, a protein-based Covid-19 vaccine, is produced by the Serum Institute of India under licence from Novavax and is part of the Covax facility. Covovax is the second Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by SII, which makes Covishield as well.
Earlier this week a government panel had recommended that Covovax be approved for emergency use on children above the age of seven. The DCGI had approved Covovax for restricted use in emergency situations in adults on December 28 and in the 12 to 17 years age group subject to certain conditions on March 9. The country began inoculating children aged 12-14 years from March 16. The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 last year with healthcare workers getting inoculated in the first phase. Vaccination of frontline workers started from February 2 last year.
The next phase of Covid-19 vaccination commenced on 1 March last year for people over 60 years of age and those aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions.The country launched vaccination for all people aged more than 45 years from 1 April last year. The government then decided to expand its vaccination drive by allowing everyone above 18 years of age to be inoculated against the viral disease from 1 May last year.
The next phase of vaccination commenced from 3 January for adolescents in the age group of 15-18 years. India began administering precaution doses of vaccines to healthcare and frontline workers and those aged 60 and above with comorbidities from 10 January.