Serum Institute of India (SII) plans to launch a COVID-19 vaccine for children in the next six months, the company's CEO Adar Poonawalla said on Tuesday, December 14. Participating in an industry conference, Poonawalla said the vaccine 'Covovax' is under trial and would offer protection to children all the way down till three years. Currently, Covishield and other COVID-19 vaccines are approved for people above the age of 18 years.
"We haven't seen a lot of severe disease in children. Fortunately, the panic is not there for children. However, we will be launching a vaccine in six months for children, hopefully down to the age of three," Poonawalla said. He noted that already there are two companies in India who are licensed and their vaccines will be available soon.
"I think yes, you should take and get your children vaccinated. There is no harm. These vaccines have been proven to be safe and efficacious and all of that. If you feel you want to get your children vaccinated by all means wait for government announcements on that and you go ahead with that. Our vaccine Covovax will be launched for children in six months," Poonawalla said, adding that Covovax is under trial and has shown excellent data all the way down to the age group of three years.
Further, Poonawalla said there was enough data to show that the vaccines will work and protect the children against the infectious disease. He pointed out that so far nothing can be said about the Omicron variant as to how it would impact the children. "I don't know what will happen with Omicron but so far the children have not been affected very badly with this (COVID-19) virus. I think their body, cells and their lungs recover better," he said.