U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s day-visit to Delhi this week was heavy on discussions and understandably light on deliverables. The visit, the third by a senior U.S. official of the Biden administration, was meant to prepare the way for more substantive meetings in Washington later this year, including the U.S.-India “2+2” of Foreign and Defence Ministers, the Quad summit of its leaders, and a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Joseph Biden. Public statements by Mr. Blinken and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, and readouts, indicate that most of their conversations are focused on Quad cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, Afghanistan, and in discussing the state of democracy and rights. On the Quad, they showed full convergence. On Afghanistan, Mr. Jaishankar said that there were “more convergences than divergences” on the common positions that there is no military solution to conflict, and that neither country would recognise a

As India’s vaccination drive chugs along with sporadic bursts of frenetic inoculation, there are possibilities of administering vaccines to children soon — as early as next month. At present, two Indian vaccines may be eligible for administration to children. Zydus Cadilla’s ZycoV-D, a three-dose plasmid DNA vaccine, with a 66.6% efficacy in phase-3 trials, has also been tested in adolescents (12-18 years), data for which has been submitted to the regulator. The company has also requested permission to test in children over five. Covaxin’s Bharat Biotech is also testing the vaccine in a cohort of children below 12. Though none of these studies has been completed, the expectations are that these vaccines may be ready by September. Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine has been authorised in those above 12 and Moderna’s too may be similarly approved in the U.S. Both companies are reportedly in discussions with the Indian government. Young children are at the least risk of hospitalisation and death from

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