The drug regulator’s subject expert committee (SEC) has recommended granting an emergency use authorization to Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for children aged between 2-18. The SEC has submitted its recommendation to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for final approval.
“After detailed deliberation, the committee recommended for grant of market authorization of the vaccine for the age group of 2 to 18 years for restricted use in an emergency,” the expert panel said in a statement.
It said that the emergency use authorization, however, is subject to four conditions.
“The developer of Covaxin will continue the study as per Whole Virion, Inactivated Corona Virus Vaccine, the approved clinical trial protocol,” SEC added.
Other conditions listed by the expert panel are: The firm should provide updated Prescribing Information/Package Insert (PI), Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC), and Factsheet; the firm should submit safety data, including the data on AEFI and AESI, with due analysis, every 15 days for the first two months and months after that and also as per the requirement of New Drugs & Clinical Trials Rules, 2019; and the firm should submit risk management plan.
Last week, Bharat Biotechbmitted Phase 2/3 clinical trials data of children’s trials to the DCGI for its verification and subsequent approval for emergency use authorization (EUA) for the jab.
Bharat Biotech, in a statement, said that this represents one of the first approvals worldwide for COVID-19 vaccines for the 2-18 age group.
“Bharat Biotech sincerely thank the DCGI, Subject Experts Committee, and CDSCO for their expedited review process. We now await further regulatory approvals from the CDSCO before product launch and market availability of COVAXIN for Children,” it said.
Two doses of Covaxin will be administered to children with a gap of 28 days. For adults, the government has set 4-6 weeks between the two shots.
Covaxin, indigenously developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), is being used on adults in India’s ongoing COVID-19 vaccination drive.
This is the second COVID-19 vaccine to get approved for children in India. DGCI had, in August, approved ZyCoV-D for children aged 12 and above as well as adults. However, the rollout has not yet begun.