Parents flood Belagavi hospital with calls to vaccinate their children | Hubballi News
Center has cleared emergency use of the vaccine for 12+ years, but hospitals have yet to receive doses
BENGALURU: With the approval of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization for Restricted Use of Indigenous ZyCoV-D, a Covid-19 DNA Vaccine, in Emergencies in India for Children Aged 12 and Over, Hospital Belagavi where the vaccine was tested has been inundated with calls from parents seeking to immunize their children.
Jeevan Rekha Hospital in Belagavi was one of 25 centers across the country where clinical trials for Zy-CoV-D were conducted. The vaccine would be the world’s first DNA vaccine against SARSCoV2. It was developed by Cadila Healthcare in partnership with the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) as part of the mission of the Covid-19 Suraksha Center.
Dr Amit Bhate, director of Jeevan Rekha Hospital and principal investigator of the study, said parents were eager to get their children vaccinated before a possible third wave of infections. He said Jeevan Rekha receives at least 10 calls a day from desperate parents seeking the vaccine for their children.
According to data from the Covid-19 State War Room, as of Sunday (August 22), 2.2 lakhs of children in the 10-19 age group have tested positive for the disease in Karnataka, and 90 of them succumbed to the infection.
Authorization for emergency use of ZyCoV-D was issued on August 20, based on interim results from phase III clinical trials involving more than 28,000 volunteers. The results showed a primary efficacy of 66.6%.
“Since our hospital was only part of the clinical trials, we don’t have vaccine doses with us. This is what we tell parents who call us. Parents have to wait for the government to make the doses available, ”Dr Bhate told TOI.
No side effects
A total of 20 children aged 12 to 18 participated in the trials at Belagavi Hospital. The trials took place between February and April of this year. A dose of 0.5 ml of the vaccine was given intradermally and the children did not experience any major side effects, Dr Bhat said. Three doses of the vaccine were administered on day 0, day 28 and day 56.
The hospital was also part of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin clinical trials for adults and some of the children who participated in the Zydus Cadila trial were from parents who had volunteered for the Covaxin clinical trial.
“These children volunteered for the trials. As per protocol, audio and video consent was required before testing the vaccine on them. Parents of all children were counseled about the vaccine and were fully aware of the risks of clinical trials. So far, no side effects have been observed in children who received the vaccine. Few children experience pain in the injected arm and a slight fever. None showed an allergic reaction or anaphylaxis, ”said Dr Bhate.
The hospital will monitor the health of these children for another 18 months to monitor the immune response against the novel coronavirus. Children who participated in the clinical trial must visit the hospital periodically for follow-up tests, which is why the majority of children who participated in the clinical trial were those from Belagavi itself. However, some came from neighbors Hubballi and Dharwad. During the test, single dose vials of Zydus Cadila 0.5 ml vaccine were used. The vaccine should be stored between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius.