New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government is taking extraordinary precautions before launching the COVID-19 vaccination campaign for children in India. The government is taking scientific advice, international trends and other precautions so that children do not face any problem after getting vaccinated. After all, children are the future of our country, so the government is taking all precautions.
Top sources told the media that Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has told senior health ministry officials that there should be no rush to launch the vaccine campaign. Sources said the apex panel of experts – the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTGI) – has also been asked to take a holistic approach before submitting the final plan for launching the campaign.
Mandaviya has also asked officials to take ‘baby steps’ and keep an eye on international trends. Sources said the health minister has asked officials to study the reasons for the slow pace of rollout of vaccines for children in developed countries.
Elaborating on Mandaviya’s concerns, a top official said, “Developed countries have not come forward to vaccinate children. Vaccination of children is a very important decision and we should take all scientific and technical opinion before taking any step. will not allow
Another official, who is part of NTAGI, the apex body that drafts the vaccination plan, also agreed with similar comments. He said, “The message from above is that there is no rush. We need to take a scientifically sound decision because it is about children, about the future of our country.”
He said, “We are reading international studies and journals to understand the risks and benefits of vaccinating children. Apart from the study, the panel is reading international trends on how other countries, especially developed countries, are taking steps to protect children against COVID-19.
The panel is preparing a master list of diseases, on the basis of which a priority campaign will be launched for children suffering from these diseases, after which healthy children can be vaccinated.
Following the directive from above, it is not only NTAGI that is taking precautions, but India’s top drug regulator also has to recommend Bharat Biotech’s coronavirus vaccine Covaxin for emergency use in children.
A source in India’s Office of the Drug Controller General said the matter is still under discussion and the advice of additional scientists is being sought. “Permission is important and it is a huge responsibility,” he said.
The SEC approved the vaccine on Tuesday. DGCI approval for other vaccines for adults comes in a day.