With about 29% of India’s population fully vaccinated, the government’s Subject Expert Committee (SEC) has now recommended Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin, for Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for children aged 2-18 years. This is the second vaccine in India to be cleared for children. Earlier, Zydus Cadilla’s vaccine got authorization for kids above 12.
While the timeline for the supply of Covaxin for children is still unclear, its availability as an option has raised some critical questions: Is it really necessary to expose children to a vaccine authorised for emergency use, when it is evident that they only contract a mild infection and don’t face the threat of mortality? Secondly, is WHO clearance for Covaxin a mere formality or should it be a matter of concern that a vaccine that is yet to get WHO clearance for adults has already got approval for children in India?
We explore these issues in this episode.
Guest: Jacob Koshy, Deputy Science Editor at The Hindu
Host: G. Sampath, Social Affairs Editor, The Hindu