Bharat Biotech Chairman and Managing Director Dr Krishna Ella on Saturday said that the biotechnology company was awaiting a nod from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for the COVID vaccine for kids. Speaking to ANI, Dr Ella informed that the company had already concluded phase two trials of the nasal vaccine and noted that the results were "extremely good".
Dr Ella said, "We have done a clinical trial for gender and age and the results are extremely good, the safety profile is extremely good, safety is most important. Subject Expert Committee (SEC) has approved it and now we are waiting for approval from the DGCI."
Notably, the Government of India's Subject Expert Committee (SEC) had on October 12 recommended the grant of Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) to Bharat Biotech's Covaxin for vaccinating children in the age group of 2-18 years, clearing the way for children to be added in India's COVID vaccination drive.
Terming the nasal vaccine as a "weapon to control COVID transmission", Dr Krishna Ella said, "We have almost completed phase two trials for the nasal COVID vaccine for kids and it has shown good results. This vaccine will help in controlling the transmission of COVID-19 infections." The Bharat Biotech MD said that several companies attempted to come up with nasal vaccines and that there was a need to understand the immunology part first.
He lauded India's historic feat in recording the largest vaccination drive globally by administering more than 100 cr COVID jabs and said "India has done an amazing job" in achieving the milestone. "We appreciate the government's commitment and also the healthcare workers are most important. I salute the citizens of this country as they are the ones proactively working in the interests of science. This was because of the collective efforts right from the government to the citizens," Dr Ella said. India's cumulative vaccination coverage crossed the 100 Cr mark on Thursday. The milestone was covered in nearly 9 months.
The Bharat Biotech Chairman said that the Vaccine Maitri initiative of the government wherein India exports Covaxin to other countries was a good gesture of the government. "We are already supplying vaccines under the Vaccine Maitri programme, I think the government has a sincere commitment towards helping other countries," Dr Ella said.