Bharat Biotech may begin paediatric trials of Covaxin in June

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Bharath Biotech may start clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin on children from June, a senior official of the vaccine-maker said.

Raches Ella, Head-Business Development and International Advocacy of Bharat Biotech, in a virtual conversation with members of FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO), Hyderabad, on “All About Vaccines,” said no vaccine offers 100 percent protection.

The efficacy of the jab can be improved up to 100 protection by the COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and following other safety protocols, he said.

Bharat Biotech has received permission to carry out paediatric trials of the vaccine, and it may commence trials from June 1, he said.

It would be a trial on children aged two-18 years, for which Bharat Biotech may get the licence in the third quarter of this year, a press release from FLO quoted Ella as saying on Sunday.

A few side-effects of vaccination are common, and they shouldn’t deter anyone from taking the jab, he added.

“I am happy that our hard work is paying off well as the vaccine is working well and saving lives. We have this good feeling when we go back home from work each day. We will be soon ramping up our manufacturing capacity to 700 million doses by the end of this year,” he said, replying to a query.

According to him, the success probability of a vaccine is just 6 percent from discovery to development, and it would take seven to 10 years to come out with a jab.

Presently, pregnant and lactating mothers, special population, and kids are not allowed to be given vaccines.

Once separate clinical trials are done on these groups and proved effective then they may be allowed to be inoculated, he said.

Ella said the current vaccines are doing well enough, but the requirement of a booster dose would depend on future variants of the virus.

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