Published: 21st February 2022
What The FAQ: Can your child get vaccinated against COVID-19?
The FDA recently cancelled the meeting that was supposed to ratify whether Pfizer-BioNTech’s double dose vaccine would be permissible for infants and toddlers
Not yet, is the answer. While India is still waiting for expert panels to suggest vaccination of younger kids, USA's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cancelled the meeting of experts' panel that would have decided when toddlers and infants can be vaccinated.
What's happening in the US?
The FDA recently cancelled the meeting that was supposed to ratify whether Pfizer-BioNTech’s double dose vaccine would be permissible for infants and toddlers. The meeting was delayed by almost two months and the FDA will now check if a three-dose system would be better for the kids.
What's India's stance?
While USA is being cautious about what it administers to the kids, India too is awaiting suggestions from the scientific community. "When to vaccinate and to which age group – it is decided on the basis of recommendation of a group of scientists. We had implemented its recommendation for the precaution group within one week. We will surely implement its recommendation (for 5 to 15 age group) as and when we receive it," Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said recently. "Today, vaccination is not an issue. We have enough vaccines, there is no shortage of doses. We will definitely follow the recommendation of the scientific community," he added.
How well is India's vaccination going?
According to projections, India will be able to vaccinate all of its adults only by July 2022, six months behind its target of December 2021. So far, 77 per cent adults have been vaccinated and the current average vaccination per day stands at 4.4 lakh doses.
When will kids be vaccinated?
India has been able to vaccinate 75 per cent of children in the 15 to 18 years age group, according to data provided by the Ministry. "India offered vaccination to the world and even started manufacturing it at a fast pace. The result was that by the time the third wave (of COVID-19 pandemic) came, we had moved ahead of the world in vaccination. We were saved in the third wave, because India completed 96 per cent of the first dose,” Mandaviya said. While the USA will wait till April, India might have a longer wait before younger kids can be vaccinated safely.