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More data needed to decide whether children can be vaccinated, says ICMR chief

On whether Covid-19 shots can be administered to children is still a debatable question, until enough data is available, Bharagava said
Last Updated 25 June 2021, 15:14 IST

ICMR Director General Dr Balram Bharagava on Friday said that pregnant women can be vaccinated against Covid-19, but more data needs to be available to decide whether children can be inoculated against the disease.

"The health ministry has given guidelines that they (anti-Covid vaccine) can be given to pregnant women. We have also demonstrated from our ICMR PregCovid registry that vaccination is useful in pregnant women and it should be given," he said during a press conference.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) chief was asked a question on vaccination of children and pregnant women.

On whether Covid-19 shots can be administered to children is still a debatable question, until enough data is available, Bharagava said, adding that there is only one country in the world, the US, which is administering vaccines to children at the moment.

Whether very small children will ever need a vaccine is still a question, he said.

"Till such time we have more data available on vaccination of children we will not be in a position to vaccinate children at large. However, we have started a study on children between 2-18 years and we should have the results of that by September- October so that we can make some decision," Bharagava said.

However, international literature and experts are still debating on whether children need to be inoculated, he said.

"In the US we have seen some complications with vaccines among children," Bharagava said.

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(Published 25 June 2021, 15:14 IST)

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