Covid-19 vaccinations for the 12-18 age range could be available shortly, and a protocol for vaccinating them would be developed after clearance is obtained, the Centre informed the Delhi High Court on Friday.
The division bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh was informed by Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma that Zydus Cadila, which is producing DNA vaccines, had completed its trials for the 12-18 age range. Sharma told the court that the vaccine might be accessible in the near future, subject to legislative approvals.
He further informed the court that the Drug Controller General of India has granted Bharat Biotech, the manufacturer of Covaxin, permission to undertake clinical vaccination studies for children aged 2 to 18.
The proposal was submitted in response to a petition requesting that children and their parents be prioritised in Delhi's immunisation programme.
Meanwhile, a senior scientist at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) stated that India will most likely face the third wave of the novel coronavirus pandemic most likely towards the end of August with India reporting more than a lakh cases everyday. He did, however, caution that if the virus continues to mutate, the situation might worsen.
When challenged about the feasibility of such an evaluation, he stated that mathematical modelling done by the ICMR and Imperial College London has suggested that low vaccination rates and relaxing restrictions might lead to an increase in Covid-19 cases. However, it is possible that this will not be as bad as the second wave.
According to statistics released by the Union Health Ministry, India reported 38,079 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, with 560 people succumbing to the virus in the past 24 hours. The cumulative caseload for the country fell to 4,24,025, with total recoveries totaling 3,02,27,792 across the country. Active cases account for 1.59 percent of overall caseload.