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The World Health Organization (WHO) doesn't recommend general vaccination for children even today, Member-Health of NITI Aayog, VK Paul said on Tuesday amid a possibility of a third wave of Covid-19. 

At this moment, he said, the country's focus should be on vaccinating all adults. “Throughout the world, opening up of vaccination for children is small," Paul said while speaking to news agency ANI

Recently, the Central Government said no scientific body suggests that vaccination of children against Covid-19 should be a condition for reopening schools, but inoculation of teachers, school employees and parents is desirable.

Whether children have to be vaccinated and who among them should get the jabs is an evolving scientific and public health discourse, Paul had said.

Only a limited number of nations have introduced vaccination of children so far, he had said last week.

On Zydus Cadila's Covid vaccine

On the pricing of Zydus Cadila's ZyCoV-D, Paul said that a discussion is underway and a decision will be taken soon. “We are looking to include this vaccine in the national vaccination programme," the Member-Health of Niti Aayog said. 

After ZyCoV-D was approved by the Indian drug regulator for emergency use in the country, Zydus Cadila is now planning to seek an approval for the two-dose regimen of its needle-free Covid vaccine.

The trials for the two-dose regimen are underway.

2mg of the vaccine has been prescribed in each dose of the present-day three-dose vaccine i.e. total of 6 mg. The company is now evaluating a 2 dose regime with 3mg in each dose.

The Covid vaccine is said to be pathbreaking as it is for the first time that a technologically advanced vaccine has been successfully developed on the Plasmid DNA platform for human use.

A plasmid DNA vaccine uses non-replicating DNA molecules. As per Zydus Cadila, the vaccine which when administered produces the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and elicits an immune response mediated by the cellular and humoral arm of the human immune system, which plays a vital role in protection from disease as well as viral clearance.

The platform because of its rapid plug-and-play technology can be easily adapted to deal with mutations in the virus, such as those already occurring. The company plans to manufacture 10-12 crore doses of ZyCoV-D annually.

The vaccine is stored at 2-8 degrees Celsius. Unlike Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that need to be stored at a very cold temperature, ZyCoV-D can be stored at 2 to 8 degrees. This vaccine is also effective against the Delta variant of Covid-19.

ZyCoV-D is needle-free and is administered intradermally which is done using PharmaJet, a needle-free applicator that ensures painless vaccination. This will help in administering the vaccine to kids.

The vaccine is likely to be available by early October, according to reports.

With agency inputs

 

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