In response to a plea filed in Delhi High Court, the central government on Friday has said that the Covid-19 vaccines will soon be available for the 12-18 age group and a policy on vaccinating the age group will be formulated after acquiring the required approvals.
In front of the division bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh, the additional Solicitor General of India Chetan Sharma has told that Zydus Cadila, an Indian Company is developing DNA vaccines and has concluded its trials for the 12-18 age group.
Sharma told the court that, subject to statutory provisions, the vaccine may be available in the near future.
Another good news for those seeking Covid-19 vaccination for minors is that the Drug Controller General of India has permitted Bharat Biotech, the maker of Covaxin, to conduct clinical vaccine trials for the 2-18 age group which would be a healthy boost to the vaccinations in India.
The Solicitor General made the submission in response to a petition filed in Delhi High Cout that wanted minors and their parents to be made a priority group in Delhi’s vaccination drive.
The high court bench said the whole country is eagerly waiting for the vaccination of children and, granting more time to the Centre, listed the case for hearing on September 6.
The plea is filed by a 12 year old minor and her mother along with a woman with an 8-year-old child. They argued that the second Covid-19 wave has affected children in India far more than it did in the first wave. “Thus, news reports based on the advice of medical doctors, virologists, who predict that a ‘third wave’ would be more virulent for children should not be ignored.”
The Court also rejected another plea asking for the development of vaccines for children to be made time-bound. The court said that there cannot be a time limit for research.
“They are saying trials are on and it is on the verge of completion. You want a time-bound schedule?” asked the court. “Everybody is in a hurry. Everybody is for the vaccine but a foolproof trial should be there, otherwise, it will be a disaster.”