India allows Serum Institute to enrol kids aged 7-11 years in Covid-19 vaccine trial

India's drug regulator has allowed vaccine maker Serum Institute to enrol kids aged 7 to 11 years for its Covid-19 vaccine trial.
India's drug regulator has allowed vaccine maker Serum Institute to enrol kids aged 7 to 11 years for its Covid-19 vaccine trial.PHOTO: REUTERS

BENGALURU (REUTERS) - India's drug regulator on Tuesday (Sept 28) allowed vaccine maker Serum Institute to enrol kids aged seven to 11 years for its Covid-19 vaccine trial as the country prepares to protect children from the coronavirus.

It has already administered more than 870 million doses to adults among its population of nearly 1.4 billion.

"After detailed deliberation, the committee recommended for allowing enrolment of subjects of the seven to 11 years age group as per the protocol," a subject expert panel of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation said.

Serum Institute is already conducting a trial of its Covid-19 vaccine, a domestically produced version of a shot by US drugmaker Novavax, in the 12 to 17 age group and has presented safety data for an initial 100 participants.

The Novavax vaccine is yet to be granted approval by Indian health authorities.

Earlier this month, Serum Institute chief Adar Poonawalla said he expects Covovax to be approved for those below 18 years in January or February next year.

So far, only drugmaker Zydus Cadila's DNA Covid-19 vaccine has received emergency use approval in India to be used in adults and children aged 12 years and above.