Covid Vaccine for Children in India: Centre not in a rush, need to tread with caution: Mandaviya
New Delhi, Nov 11: Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Thursday said the government is not in a rush to vaccinate children and the decision on administering Covid-19 doses to kids will be taken based on the expert opinion.
Responding to a question on the government's plans to administer the vaccination to children after Zydus Cadila's Covid vaccine granted permission for emergency use for those 12-year-old and above, the Union Health Minister stated that no country is administering vaccines on children on a large scale and it has been initiated in some countries in a limited manner.
"We do not want to rush this thing. Since this is a matter related to children, the expert group is carrying out further studies," he said at the 'Times Now Summit 2021'.
Mandaviya claimed that permission will be given after a detailed study. "It is through data and experience we have learnt that even after vaccination Covid can happen. Then again, data emerged stating that after vaccination one does not get severe Covid. The first dose gives 96 per cent protection and both doses give 98.5 per cent protection.
"About vaccinating the children, we will make a decision based on expert opinion. We have decided to think and evaluate before going ahead with vaccinating children as they are the future of our country and we need to tread with caution in this matter," the minister said.
On asking about the booster dose, he said adequate stocks are available and the aim is to complete the vaccination of the target population with two doses and the decision on giving booster dose will be taken on expert recommendation, Mandaviya said. "The government cannot take a direct decision in such a matter. When the Indian Council of Medical Research and expert team will say that a booster dose should be given, we will consider it then," he said, adding Prime Minister Narendra Modi has always depended on expert opinion, be it vaccine research, manufacturing or approval.