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No Scientific Body Suggests Kids’ Vaccination For School Opening: Centre

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Vaccination of school staff and parents is desirable for the opening of schools, the Center said. (Representative)

New Delhi:

The center said Thursday that no scientific body suggests that vaccinating children against COVID-19 should be a condition for reopening schools, but immunization of teachers, school workers and parents is desirable.

At a press conference, NITI member Aayog (Health) VK Paul said that the question of whether children should be vaccinated and who among them should receive the vaccines is a scientific and public health discourse in evolution.

So far, only a limited number of countries have introduced childhood immunizations, he said.

Besides the vaccination aspect, the overall epidemiological situation must be secure for the opening of schools, he said.

More importantly, adhering to standard operating procedures regarding ventilation, seating arrangements, staggered classrooms and wearing masks, among others, will be essential when schools reopen, Paul said.

“No scientific body, no epidemiology, no evidence suggests that vaccination against COVID-19 should be a condition for reopening schools. However, vaccination of teachers, other school employees and parents is desirable,” he said at the press conference.

“There is also no recommendation from the WHO that we should move in this direction for reasons such as low mortality and high incidence of asymptomatic infection. As a nation and government, we are actively working scientific validation of our vaccines for potential use in children. “

Mr Paul said the Zydus vaccine has also already been cleared for children. How and when it will be administered is being discussed by scientific bodies, Paul said, adding that the trial of Covaxin in children was nearing completion.

Hyderabad-based Biological E Limited has been granted permission to conduct a phase two / three clinical trial of its locally developed COVID-19 vaccine in children and adolescents aged five to 18 with certain conditions.

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