Jabs for Kids, Reducing Gap Between Doses for Those Travelling Abroad on Agenda as NTAGI Meets Today

As India sees a surge in coronavirus cases once again, the Covid-19 working group of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) will meet in the afternoon on Wednesday to discuss the second dose and precautionary measures for people traveling There will be a discussion on bridging the gap between doses. Vaccinations abroad as well as for age groups 5-12 and 6-12.

Last week, India’s drug regulator DCGI granted emergency use authorizations for the biological E’s Covid-19 vaccine Corbevax for people in the age group of five to 12 years and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for children in the age group of six to 12 years. . Subsequently, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya informed that “the decision on vaccination for the age group ( 5-12 ) will be taken on the basis of the recommendation of an expert committee”.

However, the NTAGI meeting on Friday remained inconclusive regarding strengthening SOPs and detailed guidelines for vaccination.

If NTAGI finds the data satisfactory, it could pave the way for inclusion of young children in the National Immunization Mission.

India has so far immunized 29.1 million children in the 12-14 age group and 101 million children in the 15-17 age group.

As cases rise and offline schools resume, Prime Minister Narendra Modi noted last week that it is the government’s priority to vaccinate all eligible children at the earliest, and special programs in schools to achieve this feat. needs to be organized.

News18.com had earlier reported that NTAGI recommends conducting a serosurvey among children aged 5-12 years to check antibody levels before making a final decision to start vaccination for COVID-19. could.

A member of NTAGI told News18.com, “There is a lot of uncertainty among the members whether it is right to start vaccination campaign among 5-6 year olds or not.” “But with the fresh surge in cases due to omicron sublineage, members have recommended a survey to be conducted to check antibody levels in children.”

On the issue of gaps between doses, an official was quoted by news agency PTI as saying: “Keeping in view the scientific evidence and findings of studies conducted here and internationally, some experts are of the view that this gap should be can be reduced. Six months from the present nine months for all.”

“In addition, the (Health) Ministry has received several representations to allow the administration of a precautionary dose of COVID vaccine to those who have to travel urgently for employment, take admission in foreign educational institutions, sports tournaments. To participate in bilateral, multilateral meetings as part of India’s official delegation or to participate in business commitments,” the source said.

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