India approves use of 2 anti-covid vaccines for kids under 12

New Delhi, Apr 26 (EFE).- India Tuesday authorized the emergency use of two homegrown Covid-19 vaccines for children under 12 after a marginal increase in infections after several weeks of sustained decline.

The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has granted restricted use authorization to Bharat Biotech-developed Covaxin for the kids between 6 and 12, said federal Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted.

Children between 12 and 18 and adults are already receiving Covaxin.

The Indian drug regulator also granted the approval to Biological-E’s Corbevax for the age group 5-12.

Zydus Cadila’s two-dose ZyCoV-D vaccine also got the emergency use authorization for children 12 and above.

India began its anti-covid vaccine drive for children between 15 and 18 in January when the third wave of the virus outbreak triggered by the Omicron variant hit the country, with daily infections exceeding 300,000.

The health authorities extended the vaccines to 12-year-olds after a spectacular drop in infections in mid-March.

India has been adding more cases than in March and early April after governments relaxed Covid-19 curbs in the past few days.

India reported 2,483 positives in the last 24 hours, marking an increase compared to Apr.4, when the daily infection figure dropped below the 1,000 mark for the first time in two years.

The Indian authorities have recommended not to lower the guard to prevent another possible wave, even as the new spike is not alarming.

Many cities, including the capital New Delhi, have reintroduced the mandatory use of face masks to stop the contagion.

The spike in the number of infections in the capital has been the most noticeable, with Delhi accounting for nearly half of the 2,500 cases registered on Tuesday.

According to the health ministry, health officials have fully vaccinated about 80 percent of eligible adults, while more than 99 percent have received at least one jab.

Health and frontline workers and those above 60 with comorbidities have also received booster shots in a drive from January.

The country became the pandemic epicenter in mid-April last year, with more than 400,000 daily cases and 4,500 deaths.

With 43 million positives since the pandemic began, the country of 1.35 billion is the second-worst hit by the virus, only behind the United States (81 million).

The virus has killed 523,622 in India, the third-highest death toll after the US (991,609) and Brazil (662,964). EFE


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