‘No study to justify Covid-19 vaccines will be very beneficial for children’: Top AIIMS doctor

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  • At a time when anxious parents are eagerly waiting for the central government to announce a vaccine for children, a top doctor at the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences on Monday said that there is no study yet to prove that vaccines will be beneficial for kids.
  • “The sero-survey done by ICMR stated almost 60% children were infected with Covid-19. The death rate is 2 in a million in children, which is very low. There’s no such study to justify that vaccine will be very beneficial for children,” Dr Sanjay K Rai, Professor at the Centre for Community Medicine in AIIMS Delhi, told news agency ANI.
  • He noted that globally, it is observed that the SARS-CoV-2 virus isn’t fatal in children.
  • “Only a very mild infection is present. In a few children, it’s milder than the common cold. Currently, we don’t have any justification on whether Zydus Cadila, Bharat Biotech, Pfizer or Moderna…which is the mildest. These vaccines are reducing the severity of the infection but not the infection,” he said.
  • The professor also claimed that latest trials have shown that safety and immunogenicity of India’s indigenous Covid-19 vaccine – Covaxin – are almost the same in children as adults above 18 years of age.
  • “Covaxin’s trial was done on three age groups. The first group examined was between 12 -18 years, the second group was between 6- 12 years and the third age group was between 2-6 years,” Rai said.

Rai was India’s principal investigator of Covaxin trials on children.
“At first, we finished the examination of people aged between 12- 18 years and then subsequently other groups. Covaxin’s vaccine safety and immunogenicity are almost the same. However, the final results of these trials are awaited. We had already carried out trials on the adult population. For children, we are waiting for the results,” he said.

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