Vaccine / Covaxin trials for children may begin in June: Bharat Biotech

Zoom News : May 24, 2021, 10:08 AM
New Delhi: Bharat Biotech is expected to start the pediatric trial of its indigenous COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin in June. Earlier last week, India’s apex drug regulator had granted permission for conducting the phase II/III clinical trial of Covaxin in the age group of 2 to 18 years.  Speaking at a FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) meeting in Hyderabad, Bharat Biotech’s Business Development & International Advocacy Head, Dr Raches Ella exuded confidence that vaccines for kids may get the license in the third quarter of this year. Notably, Covaxin is indigenously developed by Bharat Biotech along with the apex health agency, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Talking about increasing the manufacturing capacity, Ella exuded confidence that Bharat Biotech will be ramping up the manufacturing capacity of Covaxin to 700 million doses by the end of 2021. “We are happy to have the full support of the government because of which we are able to stand where we are today in this journey. The Government placed an advanced purchase order of Rs 1,500 crore. This will help us to increase our risk appetite. That is why we are expanding to Bangalore and Gujarat,” he said.

Asked about dosing intervals he said ideally the gap should be between two weeks and can go up to six weeks. “If for some reason you miss that schedule, you need not get panicked. You can go and take the second dose anytime possible but at the earliest possible time. Three months after the second dose, a good antibody response can be developed. ”

Talking about a booster dosage he said the current vaccines are doing good enough but it will depend on future variants of the virus if any booster doses needs to be taken or not.

Furthermore, he stressed that no vaccines offer 100 per cent protection. “The vaccine efficacy can be improved up to 100 per cent protection by Covid appropriate behaviour and following other safety protocols”, he added.