Don’t want to rush, need to tread with caution: Mandaviya on giving Covid vaccine to children


Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandavia said Thursday the government does not want to rush to administer COVID-19 vaccination for children, and any decision on this matter will be made on the basis of an expert opinion.

On when vaccinations for children could begin, since the Zydus Cadila Covid vaccine has received emergency use for children 12 and older, he said children have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 on a large scale anywhere in the world, although the vaccine has been initiated. in some countries in a limited way.

“We don’t want to rush. As far as children are concerned, the expert group is conducting additional research, ”he said at the Times Now Summit 2021.

All vaccines currently approved for use in emergencies will receive full approval only after detailed scrutiny and four to five years of data, he said.

“Through data and experience, we have learned that Covid can happen even after vaccination. On the other hand, there is evidence that severe Covid does not develop after vaccination. The first dose provides 96% protection, and both doses provide 98.5% protection.

“As for the vaccination of children, we will make a decision based on the expert opinion. We decided to think and evaluate before starting vaccination of children, since they are the future of our country, and we need to act carefully in this matter, ”the minister said.

Regarding the likelihood of a booster dose, he said that there are sufficient supplies and the goal is to complete the vaccination of the target group with two doses. After that, the decision on the booster dose will be made on the basis of expert advice, Mandavia said.

“The government cannot make a direct decision on this issue. When the Indian Medical Research Council and the panel of experts say that a booster dose should be administered, then we will consider it, ”he said, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has always relied on expert opinion, whether it is vaccine research, vaccine production or approval. …

Despite the large population and varied problems, almost 80 percent of the adult population in India took at least the first dose. The country’s vaccination record has been remarkable, Mandavia said.

O CovaxinFollowing WHO’s approval, the minister said he had discussed the issue with WHO chief Tedros Adhan Ghebreyesus more than twice to understand the requirements that a vaccine must meet in order to be approved.

“It is a matter of great pride that a vaccine developed and produced in India has received EUA status.”

Asked if the delay in receiving EUA due to the fact that Covaxin is an Indian vaccine, and if there was any discrimination against India, Mandavia replied: “I will not go into this question.”

He said 97 countries have recognized Covishield and Covaxin.

In the coming days, vaccines produced in India will be available globally at affordable prices, Mandavia said and stressed that India will play an important role in the global coronavirus vaccination efforts.

“We will receive 31 crore doses in November and even more in December. Another five or six companies are going to come to India to produce vaccines here. We will help meet the global need for Covid vaccines by providing $ 18 to $ 20 per vaccine, priced from $ 3 to $ 4. This is our commitment, ”he said.

The minister said 16 million doses of the vaccine are in the states and union territories.

Referring to the Har Gar Dastak vaccination campaign on the doorstep, he said, “By December 31st, we want to meet our goal of vaccinating people aged 18 and over. Now it depends on the support of the people. “

When asked about the possibility of a third wave, Mandavia said: “Covid is not over yet. Cases of the disease are on the rise all over the world. In Russia, China and Hong Kong, the number of cases is on the rise again, despite more than 80 percent vaccinations. Vaccination and Covid behavior must go hand in hand. “

In preparation for the likely third wave, he said that the Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure mission has been launched and Rs 65,000 crores will be spent over the next five years to build up health infrastructure across the country.

According to the Union’s Health Minister, the goal is to build a level of preparedness so that India is prepared to deal with a pandemic-like severity if something like this occurs in the next 50 years.

“The second wave indicated a lack of health infrastructure. But we don’t believe in accusations. Prime Minister Modi has linked health to development, and the government under his leadership has always made efforts to expand and strengthen health facilities, ”he said.

Discussing the mission to create health infrastructure, Mandavia said that state-of-the-art laboratories will be created at the district level, which will conduct 115 types of medical tests for poor citizens free of charge.

Intensive care units will be established at the district level, equipped with a 100-bed facility with oxygen and ventilators. In addition, he said, a research center will be created at the regional level in order to recognize epidemics in time before they take on the scale of a pandemic.


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