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COVID Vaccine Trial On Children Near Completion: Centre To Delhi HC

New Delhi: The Centre on Friday told the Delhi High Court that the ongoing trials of COVID-19 vaccines for those aged below 18 years are about to be completed.

The submission was made in a petition filed by a 12-year-old through her mother and a woman whose child is 8 years olds. It seeks a direction for the inclusion of children (12-18 age group) and their parents as a priority group in the COVID-19 vaccine drive being undertaken in the national capital.

The division bench of Chief Justice D.N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh on Friday said that the whole country was waiting for the vaccination of the children. The court granted more time to the Centre and listed the case for hearing on September 6.

Declining a prayer seeking to make the process time-bound, the court said there cannot be a time limit for research. “They are saying trials are on and it is on the verge of completion. You want a time-bound schedule?” added the court, The Indian Express (TIE) reported.

It further said, “Everybody is in a hurry. Everybody is for the vaccine but a foolproof trial should be there, otherwise it will be a disaster”.

The petitioners in the plea have argued that “The ‘second wave’ of COVID-19 has affected children in India far more than it did in the ‘first wave’ which affected the nation in the year 2020. The Respondents (authorities) should be mindful that the virulence and spread of the infection under the second wave has been far more in 2021 than it was in the first wave. Thus, news reports based on advice of medical doctors, virologists, who predict that a ‘third wave’ would be more virulent for children should not be ignored”.

It further argues that the inaction of the authorities in vaccination of children, as well as their parents, being their primary caregivers, as a priority category, has resulted in a violation of the National Policy on Children 2013.

“Other countries of the world, where COVID-19 pandemic has been felt, like US and Canada, have already started administering the appropriate dose of vaccine to children,” reads the petition, adding the authorities were ignoring the international and national medical data and opinion “which is clear that vaccinating children and their caregivers as a priority sector is an essential component for breaking the chain of COVID-19 virus transmission”, the report added.

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