By Shalini Bhardwaj
New Delhi [India], July 16 (ANI): Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) is examining pharmaceutical major Zydus Cadila’s COVID-19 vaccine for children, said Dr VK Paul, Member-Health, Niti Aayog on Friday. Dr VK Paul said the Centre has set the target to administer 50 crore doses of COVID vaccine before the month of July.
Speaking to ANI, Dr Paul said, “We are moving towards a set target to administer 50 crore doses before July. We are on the path to achieving it. The government has ordered 66 crore doses of Covishield and Covaxin. Additionally, 22 crore doses will go to the private sector.”
Asked about when Zydus Cadila’s COVID vaccine for children will be available, he said the Subject Expert Committee of DCGI is examining the matter. “DCGI is examining it. More data is needed. The scientific process has to be completed. We have to be lucky that it should be effective and safe,” stated Dr Paul. Earlier in the day, Delhi High Court said that if COVID-19 vaccines are administered to children without proper research then it may be a disaster while objecting to the submission of the petitioner seeking research on vaccines for children in a time-bound manner.
A division bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh said, “It would be a disaster if vaccines are administered on children without proper research.” The Centre in an affidavit told the Delhi High Court that pharmaceutical major Zydus Cadila’s COVID-19 vaccine may be available in the near future for children in the age group of 12 to 18 years.
Zydus Cadila has concluded its trial for children between the age group of 12 to 18 and is subject to statutory permissions, the Centre added. The Ahmedabad-based pharmaceutical firm had on July 1, requested emergency use approval for ZyCoV-D, its three-dose COVID shot – the world’s first Plasmid DNA vaccine.
It will, however, be a few more days before the country’s drug regulator Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) gives it emergency use authorisation, sources told ANI on Monday. Earlier this month, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had visited the COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing facilities of Zydus Cadila and Hester Biosciences in Gujarat. Zydus Cadila had said that they expect to produce one crore vaccine doses per month from August onwards after approval. (ANI)