Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said children were not being inoculated against COVID-19 on a large scale anywhere in the world though it has been initiated in some countries in a limited manner.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Thursday said the government does not want to make haste about administering COVID-19 vaccine to children and any decision in this regard will be taken based on expert opinion.
On when vaccination for children could start as Zydus Cadila’s Covid vaccine has been granted emergency use authorisation for those 12-year-old and above, he said children were not being inoculated against COVID-19 on a large scale anywhere in the world though it has been initiated in some countries in a limited manner.
“We do not want to rush this thing. Since this is a matter related to children, the expert group is carrying out further studies,” he said.
All the vaccines which have currently received emergency use authorisation will be granted full authorisation only after a detailed study and based on the data of four to five years, he said.
“It is through data and experience we have learnt that even after vaccination Covid can happen. Then again, data emerged stating that after vaccination one does not get severe Covid. The first dose gives 96 per cent protection and both doses give 98.5 per cent protection. About vaccinating the children, we will make a decision based on expert opinion. We have decided to think and evaluate before going ahead with vaccinating children as they are the future of our country and we need to tread with caution in this matter,” the minister said.
On the probability of administering a booster dose, he said adequate stocks are available and the aim is to complete the vaccination of the target population with two doses. After that, a decision on booster dose would be taken based on expert recommendation, Mandaviya said.