Johnson and Johnson has applied to India’s drug regulator to conduct trials of its Covid-19 vaccine among children in the 12-17 age group, the Hindustan Times reported on Friday, citing a statement from the pharmaceutical company.
The company said that it had submitted its application to the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation on Tuesday.
“To ultimately achieve herd immunity it is imperative that Covid-19 vaccine clinical trials continue to move forward in this population, and we remain deeply committed to the critical work needed to make our COVID-19 vaccine equitably accessible for all age groups,” Johnson and Johnson said in the statement.
On August 7, the single-dose vaccine developed by the American company had received authorisation for emergency use among adults in India. It was the fifth vaccine to receive approval in India after Covishield, Covaxin, Sputnik V and the jab developed by Moderna.
The government has not yet cleared any vaccine for children.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Thursday said that results of a research on vaccines for children conducted by pharmaceutical companies Zydus Cadila and Bharat Biotech were expected to arrive next month. The minister did not mention any specific timeline for launch of vaccines for children, but said they will be available “very soon”.
In an interview on Friday, National Institute of Virology Director Priya Abraham also said that Covaxin shots for children were expected “probably by September or just after September”, PTI reported.
In an affidavit to the Delhi High Court last month, the Centre had said that clinical trials of coronavirus vaccines for children were almost complete and inoculation among those aged under 18 will begin once the government’s expert body on Covid-19 vaccination gives permission.