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Indian drugs regulator backs home-grown Bharat Biotech's Covid-19 for kids aged 2 and above

Indian drugs regulator backs home-grown Bharat Biotech's Covid-19 for kids aged 2 and above
The Indian drugs regulator has recommended the use of Bharat Biotech's Covid-19 shot for emergency use in children aged between two and 18 years old. It will become the first shot to be used on under-12s in India.

On Tuesday, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation and Subject Expert Committee said that the Covaxin shot, produced by Indian firm Bharat Biotech could be administered to children between the ages of two and 18.

Clinical-trial data from Bharat Biotech "has been thoroughly reviewed by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation and Subject Expert Committee and [they] have provided their positive recommendations," the vaccine maker told Reuters in a statement. 

The firm is yet to publicly share its data from trials involving children. The vaccine is now the second to be recommended for use on recipients under the age of 18, after Zydus Cadila's DNA vaccine. Although the Zydus shot is only authorized for use in those above the age of 12.

Covaxin is similar to China's CoronaVac (the Chinese vaccine developed by Sinovac), using an inactivated coronavirus paired with the adjuvant Alhydroxiquim-II to boost immune response. The shot is taken as part of a two-dose regimen, recommended to be taken 28 days apart. 

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Some 110 million doses of the vaccine have been administered to date. The firm hopes to receive emergency-use listing from the World Health Organization later this month.

India has now administered 960 million vaccines in the fight against Covid-19, with the British-developed AstraZeneca vaccine at the heart of the effort. The inoculation campaign is increasingly focusing on children, with many adults already vaccinated.

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