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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Covaxin: India approves home-grown COVID vaccine for children

India’s Subject Expert Committee (SEC) on Covid-19 has granted emergency use approval to Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for children in the 2-18 years age group.

Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech had completed Phase-2 and Phase-3 trials of Covaxin on children below 18 years of age in September and submitted the trial data to the Drugs and Comptroller General of India (DCGI) at the start of this month.

“After detailed deliberation, the committee recommended for grant of market authorization of the vaccine for the age group of 2 to 18 years for restricted use in emergency situation,” the subject expert panel said in a statement.

The made-in-India vaccine will be administered in two doses, with a gap of 20 days between the first and second dose.

In a statement, Bharat Biotech said the clinical trial data it had submitted was thoroughly reviewed by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) and SEC, who provided their positive recommendations.

“This represents one of the first approvals worldwide for Covid-19 vaccines for the 2-18 age group. Bharat Biotech sincerely thank the DCGI, Subject Experts Committee, and CDSCO for their expedited review process. We now await further regulatory approvals from the CDSCO prior to product launch and market availability of Covaxin for children,” the vaccine developer said.

The emergency use authorisation, however, is subject to certain conditions. The developer of Covaxin will continue the study as per Whole Virion, Inactivated Corona Virus Vaccine the approved clinical trial protocol.

It will have to provide updated prescribing information/package Insert (PI), Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) and factsheet.

Moreover, the firm should submit safety data including the data on AEFI and AESI, with due analysis, every 15 days for the first two months and monthly thereafter and also as per requirement of New Drugs & Clinical Trials Rules, 2019, it said.

Meanwhile, the WHO is yet to grant emergency use authorisation to Covaxin. Bharat Biotech had reportedly submitted all documents required for the listing to the WHO by July 9, and the WHO review process, which takes close to six weeks, had commenced by July-end.

Back in August, India had also granted emergency use approval to ZyCov-D’s Covid-19 vaccine for children between the ages of 12 to 18. The vaccine is developed by pharmaceutical firm Zydus Cadila and is the first DNA vaccine to be approved in the world.

Source: India Today

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