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COVID-19 Live updates: Vaccine for kids soon? Covaxin trials to begin in 12 days, says govt

·3 min read
A health worker administers a dose of Covid vaccine to a beneficiary, during a vaccination drive for the age group of 18 to 44, at a government school, on May 17, 2021 in New Delhi. Photo: Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
A health worker administers a dose of Covid vaccine to a beneficiary, during a vaccination drive for the age group of 18 to 44, at a government school, on May 17, 2021 in New Delhi. Photo: Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

The government said on Tuesday trials on Covaxin’s efficacy against coronavirus on children between 2-18 years of age to begin in 10-12 days. Addressing a Health Ministry briefing, Niti Aayog member VK Paul said Covaxin has been approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for phase II and III clinical trials in the age group of 2 to 18 years. “I have been told that trials will begin in the next 10-12 days,” Dr Paul said.

Covaxin, produced by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech and backed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), has been found to be effective against most of the new strains of the virus that has wreaked havoc in India in its second wave.

The announcement came amid reports that new coronavirus strains were affecting more children. Earlier in the day, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed to the Central government to immediately cancel all air services with Singapore, saying a new strain of coronavirus there is said to be “very dangerous” for children. This new strain of virus could invade India in the form of a third wave, he said in a tweet.

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India's COVID-19 death toll climbed to 2,78,719 with a record 4,329 fresh fatalities, while the single-day rise in coronavirus cases stood at 2.63 lakh, the lowest in 28 days. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed to the Central government to immediately cancel all air services with Singapore, saying a new strain of coronavirus there is said to be 'very dangerous' for children. The Indian Medical Association said 270 doctors across the country have succumbed to the coronavirus infection in the second wave of the pandemic so far. According to the IMA COVID registry, 748 doctors succumbed to the disease in the first wave of the pandemic.

The 4,329 new fatalities include 1,000 from Maharashtra, 476 from Karnataka, 340 from Delhi, 335 from Tamil Nadu, 271 from Uttar Pradesh, 223 from Uttarakhand, 191 from Punjab, 157 from Rajasthan, 149 from Chhattisgarh, 147 from West Bengal, 114 from Haryana and 109 from Andhra Pradesh.

A total of 2,78,719 deaths have been reported so far in the country including 82,486 from Maharashtra, 22,313 from Karnataka, 21,846 from Delhi, 18,005 from Tamil Nadu, 17,817 from Uttar Pradesh, 13,431 from West Bengal, 12,086 from Punjab and 11,883 from Chhattisgarh.

The country reported a total of 2,63,533 new cases in a span of 24 hours, taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 2,52,28,996, according to the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday.

The active cases further reduced to 33,53,765 comprising 13.29 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 85.60 per cent.

The health ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.

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