Earlier in June, the Union government had informed the Supreme Court that Zydus Cadila has concluded its clinical trials for the 12 to 18 age group.

A gloved hand holding a vial of a COVID-19 vaccineImage for representation
Health Covid-19 Vaccine Friday, July 16, 2021 - 16:38

The Union government has informed the Delhi High Court that Zydus Cadila, which is developing DNA vaccines, has concluded its clinical trial for the age group of 12 to 18. The affidavit filed by under secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare, said: "It is submitted that Zydus Cadila, which is developing DNA vaccines has concluded its clinical trial for between the age group of 12 to 18 and subject to the statutory permissions, the same may be available in near future for children of the age group of 12 to 18 years of age". The affidavit added that from May 1 onwards, under the liberalised pricing and accelerated national COVID-19 vaccination strategy, all citizens above the age of 18 years including parents of children who are residing in Delhi are already eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.

The Union government said the vaccination is its top most priority and all efforts are being made to achieve "an objective of 100% vaccination in the shortest time possible keeping the available resources in mind and availability of vaccine doses into consideration". The government filed this affidavit in response to the plea filed by Tia Gupta through advocate Bihu Sharma, demanding for immediate vaccination of children between the ages of 12-17 in the city, and also prioritising of vaccination for parents having children up to 17 years of age.

Last week, the Union government had informed the Supreme Court that Zydus Cadila has concluded its clinical trials for the 12 to 18 age group, and the vaccine may be available in near future, subject to the statutory permissions. On Thursday, according to Sharma, Delhi High Court Chief Justice asked the Union government to frame a policy for children's vaccination expeditiously. The plea contended that data from across the country, including Delhi, has revealed that between April-May, the number of reported cases of children infected and suffering COVID-19 has risen tremendously.

On May 28, a bench comprising Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh had issued notice to the Union and Delhi governments on the petition. The plea contended that the vaccine policy against COVID-19 has failed to factor in children or parents of children, who are a vulnerable section of society. The plea added that the evidence that unvaccinated children are more likely to develop a new, more powerful COVID-19 strain, is reflected in the prevalent 'second wave', which has infected many more children than the 'first wave' last year.

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