No rush in giving jabs for kids, Centre to stay “cautious”, says the health minister.
New Delhi: India’s Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya, on Thursday said that the Centre is going to stay “cautious”, regarding the distribution of the vaccine among the children. The minister said that “We do not want to rush this thing, he said at the “Times Now Summit”. Since this is a matter related to children, the expert group is carrying out further studies." The government has not taken up any decision to make a hesitation regarding the administering of the Covid-19 vaccines for the children.
The distribution will be done based on the permission granted by the experts. Mandaviya said that all the vaccines which have currently received emergency use authorization will be granted full authorization only after a detailed study and based on the data of four to five years. The Minister further said that “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.”
On the probability of administering a booster dose, he said adequate stocks are available and the aim is to complete the vaccination of the target population with two doses. After that, a decision on booster dose would be taken based 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. Despite a large population and diverse challenges, nearly 80 percent of India's adult population have taken at least the first dose. The country's vaccination performance has been remarkable, Mandaviya said.
Regarding the approval of the Covaxin by WHO, the minister went on to say that he had also discussed the matter with WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on more than a couple of occasions to understand the requirements a vaccine needed to fulfill to get the clearance.
The minister even said that during the upcoming days, the Covid-19 vaccines are going to be manufactured in India, and will be distributed at an affordable cost. He even informed that so far 97 nations have been recognized with Covishield and Covaxin. Regarding the distribution of the vaccines, he said that "We will get 31 crore doses in November with more due in December. Another five to six companies are set to come to India to manufacture vaccines here. We will help meet the world's requirement for Covid vaccines by providing 18 to 20 vaccines at $3 to 4 He added.
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