New Delhi, June 27: The Centre has informed the Supreme Court that Zydus Cadila vaccines have concluded clinical trial for the age group of 12-18 years and these vaccines may be available soon. The affidavit was filed by the Centre in response to the Supreme Court's pointed queries about the vaccination policy.
Earlier, this month the Centre announced a dramatic overhaul in its vaccine policy. In its response in the top court, the government presented a detailed plan to vaccinate all adults in the country by the end of December.
The affidavit said domestic vaccines such as those from Biological E and Zydus Cadila are in the late stages of clinical trials and subject to the regulatory approvals, will further increase the availability of vaccines.
"Zydus Cadila which is developing DNA vaccines has concluded its clinical trial for between the age group of 12 to 18 years 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", said the affidavit. The central government is expected to procure 5 crore Zydus Cadila DNA vaccines.
According to the projected midyear population for 2020, the total population of the country aged 18 years and above is approximately 93-94 crore. And administering two doses to these beneficiaries would require an estimated 186 to 188 crore vaccine doses. The Centre said 51.6 crore doses will be made available for administration by July 31, leaving a requirement of approximately 135 crore vaccine doses, from August to December, for complete vaccination to the eligible population.
The Centre said on May 12, the Drugs Controller General of India has permitted Bharat Biotech to conduct clinical trials on the healthy volunteers between 2 years and 18 years of age, for its vaccine i.e. Covaxin and the enrolment process for this trial has also begun.
The central government emphasized that it has been following a dynamic mapping model based on availability of vaccines and coverage of vulnerable priority groups to take decisions of when to open up vaccination to other age groups.