Kids to participate in vaccine trials in India, soon


Officials worry that getting consent for the kids to participate in the trials will be difficult


State health officials are now gearing up to conduct vaccine trials for children after Bharat Biotech
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announced its plan of conducting covid vaccine trials for kids.

However, this is a catch-22 situation as it requires both parents and kids to give consent while parents are hesitant about their kids getting the jab. Dr Krishna Ella, MD, Bharat Biotech said on Monday that his company would soon apply for clinical trials for kids aged between two to 15 years.

Amit Bhate, director of Belagavi-based Jeeva Rekha Hospital which is conducting third-phase trials for Covaxin, said, “There is news that Bharat Bio will be going for paediatric trials but we are yet to hear about it officially.”



However, he said that paediatric trials would be more challenging than the adult trials. “The trials depend on the volunteers. However, finding kids may be more difficult than adults because we need to get the consent of the kids as well as their parents. With many parents averse to vaccination, convincing them will be a difficult task.”

Paediatric trials are very important because the mutant virus has affected kids in the UK and this may become a big problem now. For kids, it will be starting from pre-clinical trials, Phase One, Two, and Three

– Amit Bhate, Director of Jeeva Rekha Hospital

Another issue being debated is whether it would be an injection or oral drops for kids. “Most probably it will be drops but we still don’t know,” said Bhate, arguing that paediatric vaccines were the need of the hour.

“Paediatric trials are very important because the mutant virus has affected kids in the UK and this may become a big problem now. For kids, it will be starting from pre-clinical trials, Phase One, Two, and Three”, he added.

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6.3 lakh-plus health workers are first in line


The State Government has identified 6.3 lakh-plus health workers who would get the Covid-19 vaccination in the first round. Sources said that the vaccination drive could begin from January 13.

Health and Family Welfare Minister K Sudhakar in a tweet said that soon the vaccination drive will begin in the State. In the first round 6,30,254 health workers including 2,73,211 from government and 3,57,313 from the private sector will get the vaccination. The government has already identified 9,807 experienced vaccinator staff and 28,427 vaccination centres across the State. More centres are being created, he said. Meanwhile, Karnataka has received 64 big Ice Lined Refrigerators and 24 lakh syringes. Remaining 31 lakh syringes and other materials will reach soon he said.

On Tuesday, the Centre announced six medical oxygen generation plants to the State through the PM Cares fund. Sudhakar said that the move would help to ensure supply of oxygen during a pandemic besides strengthening the public health system in the long run.



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Sagar Biswas

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