01/6How will the Covaxin roll out for kids be different?

How will the Covaxin roll out for kids be different?

As we await the surge of a third wave to come up in India, Covaxin has become one of the first vaccines to have been granted emergency use nod. As per recommendations by the SEC (Subject Expert Committee), the vaccine has been selectively approved for use in kids aged between 2-18 years of age, and currently awaits DCGI approvals.

Also read: Covaxin granted emergency use nods for kids between 2-18; all what you need to know

While experts are currently also awaiting a clearance from the WHO (World Health Organisation), it is being reported that the vaccine, which is an indigenous, inactivated vaccine developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech will be rolled out for kids in a phased manner, with the shots being first available for kids who may have comorbidities. It has also been argued that the vaccine would work in a rather similar manner, as it does for the adults. But what could the side-effects be like?


We delve into what a Covaxin rollout for children could look like:

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02/6Would kids require a lesser dosage of the vaccine?

Would kids require a lesser dosage of the vaccine?

Covaxin works as a two-dose regimen to prompt a considerable immune response against the virus, delivered 28 days apart. While there have been some studies which have demonstrated that kids may require the use of a single dose, or a shorter-dose vaccine in comparison to adults, it's quite unlikely that kids in India will be given an altered dosage right now.


Nonetheless, while plans have been drawn up to make Covaxin doses available for kids' use in a phased manner, it is expected that kids, much like adults, would also need two doses of the vaccine to dole up an efficient immune response against the SARS-COV-2 and its variants.

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03/6What do we know about the side-effects of the vaccine?

What do we know about the side-effects of the vaccine?

While Covaxin has been seen to cause fewer side-effects than other vaccines, the most common side-effects recorded with the vaccine's clinical testing on kids include flu-like symptoms, which are expected, and considered reactogenic.

Since the side-effects are taken to be a way the body builds up immunity, some of the side-effects which can be expected include fever, pain at the injection site, drowsiness, redness, body pain and fatigue, which tend to go away in 2-3 days time.

So far, adverse side-effects and reactions haven't been recorded with Covaxin but a monitoring committee will be set up. Kids who have sensitivity, or prior bad reaction to the vaccines may require more care.

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04/6Is it safe for immunocompromised kids to get the shot?

Is it safe for immunocompromised kids to get the shot?

Being immunocompromised could make some individuals vulnerable to having an inefficient response to the vaccine and not get the right kind of response. Certain comorbidities and sensitivities could also make some parents hesitant about getting the shots. However, it should be remembered that kids who are at risk should be inoculated at the earliest, since not getting the vaccine could put them at a greater risk of severe COVID and encountering complications like MIS-C.

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05/6Is Covaxin for kids a nasal vaccine?

Is Covaxin for kids a nasal vaccine?

Covaxin is an intramuscular vaccine injected through the skin. Bharat Biotech is also working on developing nasal vaccines, wherein the injection doses are directed through the nasal cavity. Since nasal vaccines are easier to administer, and said to create a first-line defense (and hence be more efficient in rooting out the virus), nasal vaccines are considered to be a better choice for kids. However, it's unlikely that nasal vaccines would be made available for public use before the end of next year, since they are yet to enter clinical trials.


Zydus Cadila, however, is working on rolling out nasal vaccines for kids, which may be available for kids early next year.

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06/6Should you wait for the WHO nod for Covaxin? Would it make a difference?

Should you wait for the WHO nod for Covaxin? Would it make a difference?

While Covaxin has been granted emergency nods, it's yet to be fully approved for use by the WHO. Currently, only the vaccines approved by WHO are accepted globally.

Although Covaxin has been found to be relatively safe and meet requisite standards of efficacy, getting approvals from the WHO will not just provide a lot of reassurance, but also pave the way for wider acceptance.

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