Johnson & Johnson has applied for permission to conduct COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials in India on children aged between 12 to 17 years.
The US pharma giant in a brief statement released on August 20, 2021, informed that it had submitted its application on August 17. The firm added that it is imperative to ensure all the sections of the population, including children, are vaccinated against the COVID-19 as quickly as possible to control the virus.
The statement by Johnson & Johnson read, ‘To ultimately achieve herd immunity it is imperative to that COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials continue to move forward in this population, and we remain deeply committed to the critical work needed to make our COVID-19 vaccine equitably accessible for all age groups.’
COVID-19 vaccine for children in India: When it will be available?
On August 19, 2021, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya informed that COVID-19 vaccines for children will be available very soon in the country.
Clinical trials of the COVID vaccine in India focusing on the vaccine safety and efficacy for children have been in talks in recent weeks and months, amid the fears that the future waves of infection might target those below the age of 18 years.
Reopening of schools & colleges increases concern-
The concern for the COVID-19 infection in Children has also increased as schools and colleges across the country re-open.
Several states in India have already begun scaling up the pediatric infrastructure, including stocking up on medicines and medical oxygen and increasing the number of hospital beds.
COVID-19 vaccine trials for children in India:
• While talking about the COVID-19 vaccine trials for children in India, the Union Health Minister had informed that two trials- conducted by Zydus Cadila and Bharat Biotech- are already underway and that the results are due in September 2021.
• In July 2021, the Indian drug regulator’s SEC had recommended that permission must also be given to the Serum Institute of India to conduct Phase II/III trials of COVOVAX on 920 children between the age of 2-17 years.
• The Chief of AIIMS, Dr. Randeep Guleria had also informed that the COVID vaccines for children can be made available by September. He added that the vaccination to children will be a big boost to break the chain of transmission.
Johnson & Johnson vaccine in India:
Johnson & Johnson has recently received Emergency Use Authorization, or emergency use approval, for its single-dose vaccine in India. It will be supplied via an agreement with Hyderabad-based Biological E. Limited.
Studies have shown that the single-dose vaccine has 66% efficacy in preventing moderate to severe illness due to COVID and 85% efficacy against severe cases.