The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) will hold a meeting today to discuss child immunisation and administering additional doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to the immunocompromised.
A detailed policy is expected to be released by the NTAGI on both additional Covid-19 vaccine doses as well as child immunization, said N K Arora, chairman of India's Covid-19 task force.
The meeting comes in the wake of the detection of the new variant of the coronavirus, Omicron.
Mr. Arora had said, "The policy will deal with who will require the vaccine, when and how. This needs to be seen in the context that a new variant is coming and with time only we will get to know more information about it. Therefore, relevance and effectiveness of the current vaccines will also become apparent with time only", as quoted by ANI.
The chairman had also said that a plan for immunisation of 44 crore children will be made public soon, adding that children with comorbidities would be given priority, followed by healthy children.
Government experts are reportedly working on finalising a list of comorbidities to determine which children were eligible for the vaccine first.
Presently, there is only one vaccine in India, Zydus Healthcare's ZyCoV-D, that was tested in children aged 12 and above and was approved for emergency use.
Meanwhile, the emergency use authorization of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin is under review by the drugs controller general of India. It was tested on children aged 2 years and above.
Notably, a total of 21 cases of Omicron have been detected in the last couple of days in India, with some experts pushing for a booster shot to the already vaccinated to minimise the effect of the pandemic.
Union minister of health, Mansukh Mandaviya had informed the Lok Sabha that NTAGI and National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC) were mulling over scientific evidence regarding the administration of booster doses.